Out of the Box

PDF score

"Out of the Box" explores the various qualities of classroom instruments. Throughout the piece, several musical themes are explored using Orff percussion, boomwhackers, the recorder, and various accessory percussion, creating a variety of unexpected musical textures. As the piece comes to a climax, the rhythmic elements of the piece gradually grow more chaotic, until at last everything falls apart.

An Expedition to the Pole

An Expedition to the Pole is based on an essay of the same name by Annie Dillard that draws parallels between the perilous expeditions of the early polar explorers, and Dillard's own spiritual journey. Both Dillard and the explorers begin with a romanticized vision of what is required of them to reach the absolute - whether it be the earth's extreme at the pole, or the spiritual extreme of experiencing God. As Dillard has to give up her personal vanity in order to worship with the congregation at her church, so do the explorers have to give up their dignified Victorian sensibilities. Musically, I wove together the two narratives just as Dillard did with words. Juxtaposed are wandering melodies, and musical depictions of frigid landscapes and intense arctic beauty. In a dream sequence at the end of the essay, Dillard imagines herself one of the explorers, and ventures out from her ship to experience the pole on the terrain's terms, not hers. She is uninhibited, and full of abandon. This piece explores themes of self, spirituality, and ultimately, what life with God requires.