Music

Although I am primarily a scientist, I am also a classically-trained musician. When I was young I studied Piano, Flute, and Classical Guitar before finding my calling in the Double Bass. I attended the University of Massachusetts and studied Double Bass there with Salvatore Macchia (webpage). I studied composition with Professor Macchia and Robert Stern (webpage). On this page I list some recordings of my performances and original compositions. Everything on this page is licensed under the creative commons CC BY-NC 3.0, which means they can be used and modified for any non-commercial use as long as it is attributed to me.

Original Compositions

As a composer, I have always been most interested in baroque and 20th century music. My writing originates from a desire to make each piece purely organic; someone with no knowledge of musical form or theory should be able to enjoy a piece if it only builds upon itself and does not draw from outside influences with which the listener may not be familiar. Most importantly, this applies to the concept of “tonality” in the common sense. The abstract structure of music as tension and release is a very natural form for an artistic statement to take; this is a very common theme in other mediums as well. In music this is often known as “consonant” and “dissonant” sounds, and common tonality assigns specific intervals or pitch groups to each of these categories. In my writing I try to achieve the same tension and release without requiring a person to know a priori what sounds they are supposed to think are dissonant or consonant. In this way I think of each piece as separate, and not as a further development of a specific tonal language.

By focusing on the organic nature of music, we are immediately lead to two distinct periods in music; the baroque and the contemporary. To me, the baroque period represents the construction of the common tonality we are most familiar with, but the construction directly follows from basic voice-leading principals. It is these basic principles which I focus on in my writing; the rising and falling of independent parts which make sense locally to our ear. I frequently use simple forms to explore these organic constructions, since I am interested in building a work which appeals on a basic, natural level rather then playing an intellectual game.

Miniature Sonata for Double Bass: A short unaccompanied piece, where I experiment with a theme (and subsequent developments) based on strict rhythmic duration rather then tonal content (video)

Recordings

Miniature Sonata for Double Bass: A short unaccompanied piece, where I experiment with a theme (and subsequent developments) based on strict rhythmic duration rather then tonal content (score)

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