Cave Paintings of Discourse (2020)
for piano, performer, kitchen appliances and utensils, and SPAM
Commissioned by Eunmi Ko
Virgo/3C 273 (2020)
for cello and live electronics
3C 273 is the designation given to the first quasi-stellar object, or quasar, ever detected. Located in the constellation Virgo, this astronomical phenomenon burns trillions of times brighter than our own sun, a beautiful singularity in the vast, frigid, lonely expanse of space.
Commissioned by Carol Tsai
Formally Unannounced (2019)
for horn, trombone, piano, and electronics
Commissioned by Some Assembly Required
Human Sequencer (Entropic Atelier Nº 4) (2018)
for the sensor-augmented Chaosflöte (developed by Melody Chua and myself)
Commissioned by Melody Chua
Humans are complex, volatile constructions. Their biological framework is elegant and sophisticated, yet their intelligence subroutines are often corrupted by seemingly malicious code their diagnostics report as “emotion.” The effects emotion have on intellect are fascinating as they resist conventional analytical tools. This phenomenon warrants further study before any authorization to resume manufacturing can be given.
Dreamscape Nº 1 (2015)
for harp and stereo fixed media
Commissioned by the SPLICE Institute
Dreamscape Nº 1 is a work that explores the timbral possibilities of the harp, making liberal use of extended techniques to bridge its otherwise characteristic sound to the eerie sonic realm of musique concrète and additive synthesis.
Part and electronics available upon request.
Illumina! Arabidopsis thaliana (2015)
for 8.1 double diamond surround fixed media
Featured on Music from SEAMUS Vol. 26
Based on data provided by genomic biologist Aleel K. Grennan at the University of Illinois.
This piece is the product of an artistic and scientific collaboration between genomic biologist Aleel K. Grennan and myself. Grennan is studying the rate of photosynthesis between a natural wild type of Arabidopsis thaliana leaf and three genetically engineered mutants with different sizes of chloroplasts. I took the data she provided me, sonified and incorporated the results in an 8-channel surround sound piece of electroacoustic music. While the piece is peppered with various processed sounds of found objects, I designed the majority of the sonic material in DISSCO and KYMA, incorporating Grennan’s data into several parameters (such as ADSR envelopes, spatialization within the 8-channel acoustic field, &c.), thus creating a wealth of stylized sounds that represent each different type of leaf. Formally speaking, this piece contains three major sonification sections, each connecting to the next through transitional passages implementing the sonified data in more intuitive, capricious ways. The three major sections portray respectively the percentage of light reflected, absorbed, and transmitted when coming into contact with the wild-type Arabidopsis leaf; the movement of chloroplasts among the starchy membrane within all forms of the leaf; and the percentage of light reflected off of, absorbed into, and transmitted through the three genetic mutants.
Melodía sin melodía (2014)
for 5.1 surround fixed media
Featured on Society of Composers, Inc. vol. 30: modes
Featuring samples of Melody Chua on piccolo, flute, and bass flute
This piece was born out of an inspiration of mine to blend sounds of found household objects, a staple of electroacoustic fixed-media composition, with those of an instrument associated with conventional means of Western music production, the transverse flute. Both sonic groupings carry with them certain implications that are challenged in this piece; at the start, the found objects and flute behave as they “should,” but their respective roles blur as the piece progresses, eventually reaching a kind of cooperative unity by the end.
Tempus Imperfectum (2014)
for chamber orchestra
Recipient of Honorable Mention in the 2015 American Prize: Orchestra (Student Division)
Recipient of 3rd Prize in the 2014 Busan Maru International Music Festival Composition Competition
On one peaceful autumn night in 2013, I had been pondering the possibilities of expressing the intervallic content of a piece of music rhythmically, and I soon looked to Machaut’s Ma fin est mon commencement to see if that famous musical palindrome would still be preserved after being subjected to my experiment. After a great deal of tedious mapping operations, I found that two of the three voices, the Triplum and Cantus, did line up and arrive at their respective points of symmetry simultaneously, while the Tenor did not. I felt that this kind of transformation from something so perfectly and meticulously crafted into something imperfect was very compelling, and thus this little side project ultimately served as the core of this composition. Much like the piece that served as its inspiration, Tempus Imperfectum attempts to be palindromic, though through calculated “failures” does not succeed. Instead of a perfect mirror image, as in the Machaut, one hears something distorted, unpredictable, and perhaps even exciting.
Score and parts available upon request.