messier81 logo    acoustic compositions    

Even though I have been interested most of my life in electronic music and music technology, there is nothing quite like the thrill of hearing one's music performed by an acoustic instrumental ensemble. The following is a listing of all my acoustic compositions to date, giving their instrumentation and duration along with a brief description of their sound. These scores are available at no cost to any performers who may be looking for contemporary music—simply click here for contact info.

Among my acoustic compositions there is a CD available of music for recorders—which I have imaginatively titled “Music for Recorders”!

It contains all my recorder compositions listed below, plus one work each by guest composers William Byrd and Guillaume de Machaut, who I hope don’t mind associating with the likes of me.

Cover of Music
        for Recorders CD

To order this CD, just click here for further info.

Quintet for Recorders (2009)


Three Felt Pieces (1966-74)
piano solo
quiet, thoughtful, dissonant, not difficult
Five Carols for recorders (1974-75, rev. 2007)
recorders, SSATTGb
Taking familiar tunes and giving them a fresh slant with peppy arrangements. Good King Wenceslas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, We Three Kings, Deck the Halls, Hark the Herald Angels Sing. At the very end, Deck the Halls and Hark the Herald Angels are heard simultaneously!
In Memoriam (1987)
piano solo
dissonant, fairly difficult dirge
Four Dances for Winds (1988)
flute, oboe, clarinet in A, bass clarinet, bassoon
atonal, rhythmic, changing meters
The Infinite Spiral (1990)
violin, piano
soft, mystical, semi-tonal harmonies
Sine Nomine (1990)
brass quintet (2 trumpets, trombone, horn, tuba)
tonal with dissonances in the manner of Stravinsky
The Sky, Ringing (1991)
piano solo
a fantasy of arppegios mostly in high register, semi-tonal
Formations, for nine instruments (1991)
flute/piccolo, oboe, clarinet in Bb, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, contrabass
seven connected sections each explore a different form of musical organization, from 12-tone to circle-of-fifths to minimalist
Transformations, for twelve winds (1993)
2 flutes/piccolos, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (1 doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba
a combination of 12-tone and minimalist techniques; a kind of battle between styles that ends in an uneasy truce
Sonata (1994)
piano solo
a long, mostly dissonant and difficult work for piano in four movements, in a kind of post-Shostakovich idiom
Three Fantasies for Flute and Piano (2003-4)
flute, piano
Quite tonal, with the first movement reminiscent of Debussy, the second, slow movement Machaut, and an upbeat and often bitonal third movement that rocks—and sounds like no one else that I know!
Pavan and Galliard for recorder quintet (2004)
recorders, SAATB
Tonal, and full of 9ths and 11ths taking advantage of the five voices. Not too difficult, but needs good ensemble for best results. 
Time Piece for orchestra (2004)
orchestra (2,2,2,2  2,2,3,1  4 perc., strings)
I. Prologue—Before Time
II. The Beginning of Time
III. Time Passing
IV. The End of Time
Harmonic Motions (2008)
two pianos, eight hands
Interlocking patterns from four players on two pianos build up a vibrant, tonal, and rhythmic étude in three movements. The individual parts are simple; the ensemble is more challenging.
Quintet for recorders (2009)
recorders, SSATB
Mostly tonal, with plenty of added notes and quirky altered scale degrees to keep it interesting.
Variations and Fugato on 'O Tannenbaum' for recorders (2008, revised 2010)
recorders, SATB
Again, tonal with added notes, and a real albeit brief fugal treatment of the melody.
Octet for recorders (2010)
recorders, SSAATTBB
Similar in sound to the Quintet, and even more clustery with eight parts, but harmonious even so.

top    back