Evidence: two boxes of blackwing pencils nearly to the stubs—that was my summer. Yes, some of us composing dinosaurs still sketch with pencil before hitting the electronics.
While friends emailed me about their incredible adventures in Europe, Asia, and Africa, I experimented with piano resonances inspired by the patterns of sunrays on water, spun out melodic ribbons for clarinet, conjured a moody vocalise for double bass, and set a dreydl spinning out of control in an orchestral Hanukkah romp. I discovered a way to set the word 'amethyst' for soprano in a beautiful James Joyce poem about twilight, and even wrestled one of my favorite books into, God help me, an opera libretto.
Some were commissions, some compulsions; some made it to the double bar, some are still trying to find a way forward. I want to start sharing this music with you. Here are two movements from my recent Horn Trio, beautifully performed by the Bay area Sierra Ensemble (Janis Lieberman, horn; Randall Weiss, piano; Marc Steiner, piano). First, a 3 minute scherzo marked very fast and whispery:
Second, a slow movement that explores how just these three instruments can articulate a palette of color and expression that seems orchestral:
I welcome your comments.