Minute Music

I've written several minute-long pieces. They are usually more experimental, with extended techniques. If there's one for your instrument or voice, give it a try.

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I wrote these Minute Music pieces for the Vox Novus Composer's Voice project and several of them were selected for a performer's 15-Minutes-of-Fame set. You can do a call for 1-minutes pieces too. Check it out!

Altered for horn    Download

Altered exploits the horn's close-together harmonics with alternate fingerings and many notes from the same fingering, and explores different textures of glissandi - slow half-valve slides, loud rips and quick falls. An intimate sense of exploration alternates with occasional ff blasts.

Performed by Michelle McQuade Dewhirst in her Composer's Voice: 15-Minutes-of-Fame set March 11, 2012. "Altered" starts at the 1:44 minute mark.

Greylock Mountain Fanfare for horn   Download

Greylock Mountain Fanfare is a spirited triple-time fanfare -- no fancy extended techniques. It probably goes by too fast.

Cloud for harp   Download

Cloud is an introspective piece with many pauses, savoring the ringing of the harp. Extended techniques, glissandi fast and slow, all contribute to what I hope is a magical sound world. It's too short for a mesmerizing immersion, but that's the limiting factor of Minute Music.

Performed by Jasmin Cowin in her Composer's Voice: 15-Minutes-of-Fame set January 13, 2013

Examinate for flute, viola, doublebass  Download

Examinate is a contrapuntal piece with a fugue-like opening, but the theme is treated freely, examined, ruminated upon, dissected, and at the end reduced to the opening quintuplet rhythm with a narrowed pitch window. Rhythmically a little spastic, I hope it will surprise and delight the listener. I used this theme for a set of variations in a new piece for flute and cello in 2012.

Double for soprano  Download

Double for soprano includes whistling, unvoiced syllables, brass-style double-tonguing, and optional percussion. The soprano might choose castanets, drumming with fingernails, or even a handclap with reverb. The challenge is to blend the disparate sounds into a coherent texture, pushing forward urgently to the final note. 

Performed in Beth Griffith's 15-Minutes-of-Fame set at the Composer's Voice concert in Sep 2011. Check out the video. "Double" starts at approx 13:25. The castanet setup takes about 15 seconds.

Twirlygig for clarinet   Download

Twirlygig is meant for dancing. I imagine a doll-like dancer whirling about the stage in a frantic waltz.

Turbulient for clarinet  Download

Turbulient for clarinet was my first one-minute submission, and I crammed too much into it. My friend Todd Brunel suggested that it should be played slower. I rededicated it to Todd, who made a very nice two-minute recording of it for me.

Read more about Turbulient and listen here

Composer's Voice concerts have been hosted at Jan Hus Church in New York City for many years, mostly on the last Sunday of each month. They also occur around the world. Firehouse Space in Brooklyn is another regular venue.

 

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