Notes & Lyrics

1. Song of Eternity for Orchestra

Song of Eternity was inspired by an ancient Chinese poem that describes how Nature continually lives, blooms, dies, and then renews itself, while we as humans, however, are not eternal. This neo-romantic work is meant to evoke feelings of nostalgia and reflection on the ephemeral nature of life.


2. I Seek Rest for My Lonely Heart for A Cappella Choir

The text used for I Seek Rest for my Lonely Heart is from an anthology called The Chinese Flute – a collection of ancient Chinese poetry. Because of my using an ancient text, the musical materials I chose to use throughout are derived from modal scales (specifically Dorian and Aeolian) to create a more medieval-type sound and atmosphere. The poem itself is a soliloquy describing one who seeks out the peace, beauty, and calm of nature to renew a distressed inner soul.


I seek rest for my lonely heart.

I wander toward my dwelling place, my home.


The sun sinks behind the mountains.

Now evening descends in the verdant valleys

With its shadows of cooling freshness.


The brook sings its music through the darkness.

The flowers grow pale in the twilight.

The earth breathes deeply in rest and peace.


I shall wander in the mountains.

I long for rest for my lonely heart.

I shall wander toward my dwelling place, my home.

I shall never roam afar.


I seek rest for my lonely heart.


3. When Your Song Rang Out to Me for SATB Choir

The text of When Your Song Rang Out to Me is by the German Romantic poet Clemens von Brentano (1778–1842) from his drama Aloys und Imelda written in 1812. The musical style that emerged from my setting, however, turned out to be more American-sounding with its prominent use of syncopation and tall chord harmonies.


At the heart of When Your Song Rang Out to Me is an exuberant love song. It joyously celebrates both the vastness of music’s reach – “To the moon and stars . . . to the soaring heavens, to these your song rang out!” – and its mysterious alchemy with love: “While you sang, you dipped yourself into the passion-filled stream of my life . . . As your song rang out to me!”


Your song rang out; I heard it

As it soared through the roses to the moon.

The butterfly that flew brightly in the spring

You have changed into a gentle bee.

My longing is toward the rose,

For your song rang out to me!


Your song rang out during the night.

Alas, a delightful song of peace

To the moon, who watches and listens from the sky,

To the stars and to the roses,

To the soaring heavens,

To these your song rang out!


Your song rang out; no tone was in vain.

All of springtime, which breathes love,

While you sang, you dipped yourself

Into the passion-filled stream of my life,

Into the sunset,

As your song rang out to me!


4. Romance for Oboe and Piano

Romance for Oboe and Piano is dedicated to my beloved wife and oboist, Tracy, who inspired the deepest feelings behind every note found in this piece.


5. Spring, the Sweet Spring for SATB Choir

Spring, the Sweet Spring is based on a poem by the English Renaissance poet Thomas Nashe (1567–1601) from his Summer’s Last Will and Testament published in 1600. The work is scored for mixed choir and piano cast in a 5-part (ABACA) design. Its character is one of rhythmic vitality, animation, and joy in anticipation of the new season’s arrival.


Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant king;

Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,

Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:

Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!


The palm and may make country houses gay,

Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,

And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay:

Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!


The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,

Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,

In every street these tunes our ears do greet:

Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

Spring, the sweet Spring!


Exotic Animals Suite for Woodwind Quintet

6. I. Exotic Birds

This movement represents a depiction of exotic birds. This and the last movement include many extended woodwind techniques (microtones, reed and mouthpiece crowing, multiphonics, and key slaps).


7. II. Exotic Snakes and Lizards

This is a 5-voice fugue with a slithering, snake-like fugue subject. Some typical fugal techniques (inversion, augmentation, and stretto) can be heard in this movement.


8. III. Exotic Cats

This movement depicts large cats such as lions, tigers, and leopards. The horn’s insistent “roars” continually send all the previously heard animals scurrying for cover and eventually into a frenzy. In conclusion, the lion, king of the forest, ends up having the final word over all the other animals.


9. Mystic Mountain for Orchestra

Mystic Mountain describes a solitary hiker’s journey of ascending a beautiful, transcendent mountain from its base to the summit. Along the way, a vast, lush forest is encountered while the landscape below continues to recede in the distance. Upon reaching the summit and seeing the entire panoramic expanse all around, the climber experiences ecstatic feelings of reverence and grandeur.






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