Daniel Harrison (b.1987) is a frequently commissioned and performed composer of chamber, orchestral, choral, and electronic music whose music has been heard across the United States. His music has been praised for its "vivid use of instrumental color", and "poetic expressiveness". He has been performed by numerous outstanding performers and ensembles such as members of Fifth House Ensemble, Iktus Percussion Ensemble, Three by Radio, All of the Above, the CCM Chorale, and Hypercube. In 2015 and 2017, he was a finalist for ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and he was commissioned to compose a new work for chorus and electronics for a recording project for the CCM chorale. He was recently named the Ohio Music Teachers Association's commissioned composer for 2016 and will have a new work premiered at Kent State University in December of 2016. Current commissions include a new work for reed quintet and piano for Noise-to-Signal, as well as a new string quartet that will be premiered by the Del Sol string quartet that the 2017 Red Note New Music Festival at Illinois State University. He holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and the University of South Florida.

link to soundcloud page - https://soundcloud.com/daniel-harrison-14

Compositions

Give Up the Ghost


PDF score

Give Up the Ghost (2016) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano performed by All of the Above Give Up the Ghost was composed in the winter of 2016 for the ensemble All of the Above. Composing a piece during the winter season is usually a bit tough for me. I'm very affected by the world around me and being surrounded by snow and dead trees made the initial drafts of this piece an uninspired and arduous task. Inspiration came while I was observing a bright red cardinal perched on a grey dead branch. I was struck by the sharp contrast of colors and the realization of nature's necessary exchange of life and death in order to sustain itself. I attempted to capture this vivid contrast in color in the opening of this piece in which a slowly arching melody in the flute, violin, and cello is juxtaposed against deep blossoms of color in the clarinet, marimba and piano. The phrase "give up the ghost" is typically read as an euphemism for dying. I feel that this term can also be read as overcoming a personal obstacle or feeling, and for me that is what this piece embodies.


Where Breath Ceases


PDF score

Where Breath Ceases (2017) for string quartet performed by Del Sol String Quartet Where Breath Ceases is an exploration of trying to find an emotional center and clarity in the increasingly chaotic world we live in. The music is built on a guttural scream-like gesture with a grotesque vibrato that informs the microtones and glissandi that unfold throughout the piece. I viewed the medium of string quartet as an opportunity to explore a dialectical model (or rather the failure of a dialectical model). All the instruments are speaking over each other, each one struggling to find a central pitch, but as soon as they find it, they all break away. Not until the very end of the piece do they find a way to coexist. Where Breath Ceases was composed for the Del Sol String Quartet, to be premiered at the 2017 Red Note New Music Festival.


Sometimes My Arms Bend Back


PDF score

Sometimes My Arms Bend Back (2015) for toy piano and percussion trio performed by Jacob Dike, toy piano, Zach Webb, percussion, Anthony Jarret, percussion, David Abraham, percussion Sometimes My Arms Bend Back is a miniature concerto for toy piano and percussion trio and was composed for Cincinnati-based percussion trio Three by Radio and composer/pianist Laura Harrison. The piece is set in two contrasting movements. The first is a relentless and grooving junk-dance between the toy piano and percussion trio,which is approximating and confronting the material in the toy piano using various found objects ranging from flower pots to pieces of scrap metal. The second movement sets a slowly dissipating phrase in the toy piano against a desolate, hazy landscape. The title is a quote from the character Laura Palmer from the TV show Twin Peaks.