"Oneironaut" means "explorer of dreams." It is used primarily to describe those who practice the art of Lucid Dreaming. A lucid dream is one in which the dreamer is fully aware and conscious during sleep, and able to directly influence the shape and direction of the dream. This work was intended to evoke the feeling of such a journey -- the sudden and often fleeting moments of clarity, and the ever-shifting visuals and story components.
While much of the writing is free-form, there are a few concrete thematic elements that are tied to specific images. The piano and harp represent the dreamer, only sometimes aware, attempting to exert influence on the rest of the orchestra. Tremolos in the strings mark the transitions between different dreams, while slowly shifting harmonies in the lowest registers of the winds mimic the deep breathing that comes with sleep.
Though at first glance, Equilibrium may appear to be a piano concerto, It may be better described as a concerto for orchestra with piano. The line between solo and accompaniment is pushed, blurred, and often simply doesn't exist. The writing is highly chromatic, yet almost always implies common, though shifting, tonal centers. Originally completed in 2007, it was completely revised and re-orchestrated in the Spring of 2009.
I wrote Summer Music as a dedication to DC Youth Orchestra Program founder Maestro Lyn McLain to honor his service to the arts and to the community. Many years ago while I was in Program, McLain was a personal inspiration to me, helping me to grow both as a musician and a composer. The title refers to my fond memories of the summer concerts of which I took part.
Instr: 2/2/2/2; 4/3/3/1; timp; perc; strings
Premiere: 2007, John McLaughlin Williams, DC Youth Orchestra & Alumni, Kennedy Center, Washington DC
These five short works attempt to capture impressions of hypnagogic images that came to me during long bouts of insomnia. The suite (minus the third movement) was a finalist in the 2006 Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Composition Competition, and was performed twice by that orchestra. The currently posted score is the original 2006 version. The revised version will be uploaded later this summer.
"Dorothy" of the dedication is my grandmother, Dorothy Ludorf, who passed away as this work was being written. The title "The Same Tree," aside from reminding us that falling leaves do not fundamentally change the nature of a tree, is a personal reminder to myself that a family tree remains unchanged after the passing of a loved one.
Instr: 2/2/2/2; 2 hns, 2 tpts; perc; harp; strings; piano solo
Before I wrote these five short etudes, it had been over twenty years since I had officially released anything for solo piano. I was particularly inspired by the magnificent Garritan Authorized Steinway library that had just been released.