Small Ensemble & Chamber
For Brass Choir
The Acquisiton is a single movement brass choir piece composed during the fall of 2016. Showcasing the versatility of brass instruments, the piece encompasses a variety of brief phrases each geared towards this flexibility. Effects including the use of muted trumpets, piccolo trumpet, and flugelhorn are used as coloring effects throughout the piece and provide an appeal to the listener and a diversity in sound. Additionally, difficult techniques such as woodwind-like runs and double tonguing, in combination with constant rhythmic changes, keeps the piece driving forward and interesting throughout.
The piece itself is about a search for identity. The process by which you acquire this sense of individuality is strictly represented in the 3 main sections of this piece: 1) Currently knowing who you think you are, 2) Not knowing who you are, where you are going, or what you are going to do next, and 3) Becoming comfortable with oneself, and finally acquiring you own sense of uniqueness and self-distinction in the world. This transformative phenomenon is primarily represented rhythmically through the ambiguity/syncopations in meter, and alterations in motifs. Throughout the piece, players are often playing in 2 different interpretations of a meters at the same time, resulting in syncopations such as 8/8 being 4/4 and 12/8 being 6/4 (or vice versa). These ambiguities in meter progress throughout the piece, with the middle section being quite uneasy in terms of subdivisions and material, as the performers play in 2 completely different time signatures at the same time.
Motifs are augmented as well through these metric changes with the opening trumpet motif returning several times through the piece, and the euphonium melody (originally heard in m.54) returning as a slow horn solo in m.136. As the tempo settles in the 3rd section, a new motif is introduced solidifying this new-found sense of self. However, the beginning motif is also quoted subliminally here (fist seen in m.144 by the tenor trombone) and is not forgotten, representing that people do not change who they once were, but rather continually grow into something new over time.
Dances at Dusk
For Trumpet Ensemble
The main inspiration for Dances at Dusk culminated from a sunset I experienced during my 2017 summer. I had been touring with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugles Corps where we were stationed for a few days at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas. One evening on top of the stadium, I was fascinated by a beautiful sunset, full of dissonant textures and vivid colors, stretching across the horizon. The juxtaposition of light and dark colors illuminated the sky and cast an ominous yet calming glow onto the clouds dancing above the cityscape. These dancing clouds in combination with the ongoing drum corps rehearsal below were the primary source of inspiration for the piece.
Originally written for a trumpet ensemble with two players to a part (except for piccolo), the piece utilizes almost all trumpets in standard keys, but can also be performed with one player to a part. Furthermore, it calls for mellophone in F, extending the range of the ensemble down to a C3. Trumpet players can easily play this instrument using a trumpet mouthpiece or adapter, but 2 alternate french horn parts are provided anyway. The piece explores a contrast in sections, alternating between dark and cloudy passages at the beginning, and a light triumphant fanfare stated several times throughout the work. It ultimately ends with this same light fanfare, overcoming the darkness, as the sun recedes and sets into the horizon —natures’ true resolution.