Late Spring Tunnel (2021)

2 marimbas, 2 vibraphones; duration: ca. 7′

Late Spring Tunnel takes its title from the 2006 painting of the same name by David Hockney. It was inspired by a beautiful spring day in my Southern California. The piece was written for and recorded by Sandbox Percussion as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program. Many thanks to Sandbox and everyone at CFP.

It’s Raining Today (2021)

string orchestra (6-5-4-4-2); duration: ca. 5′

It’s Raining Today is a string orchestra piece I wrote for the LA Phil Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program. The piece was read and recorded by Gemma New and the Los Angeles Philharmonic on May 19, 2021 in Walt Disney Concert Hall. Many thanks to everyone at CFP, Ms. New, and the LA Phil.

The recording above was recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall, courtesy of the LA Phil. Copyright © 2021 by Noah Godard

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Saimi in the Meadow (2020)

piano trio; duration: ca. 5′

Saimi in the Meadow takes its title from the 1892 painting of the same name, by the Finnish artist Eero Järnefelt. It is inspired by Järnefelt’s bucolic scene, but is also a general reflection on the importance of staying connected to nature, particularly in 2020. The piece was premiered virtually on January 28, 2021 as part of National YoungArts Week + 2021, performed by members of the Nu Deco Ensemble: Dina Kostic (violin), Ashley Garritson (cello), and Thomas Steigerwald (piano).

Swells of Grey (2020)

string quartet; duration: ca. 4’30”

Swells of Grey is a string quartet I wrote for the Bergamot Quartet, as a part of MATA Jr. 2020. The piece was premiered on October 18th, 2020, live streamed from Scholes Street Studio in Brooklyn, New York.

The piece centers around a 10-note motif, which forms the basis for all 4-5 minutes of material. This motif is stretched, compressed, transposed, inverted, retrograded, and chopped up in various ways throughout the work. One of the main ideas of the piece is the concept of contrasting layers of music, which occupy different sound worls but are all derived from the same material.

Many thanks to Pascal LeBoeuf and everyone at MATA, and to the Bergamot Quartet.

Among the Pines (2020)

solo violin; duration: ca. 3′

Among the Pines was written for Sakura Tsai, as a part of the Idyllwild Arts Summer Composition Workshop in August 2020. Many thanks to Sean Friar, Sakura, and everyone at Idyllwild Arts.

Unable to physically be in Idyllwild this summer, I felt myself missing the beautiful landscape of the San Jacinto Mountains. The stark contrast between white rock and green pines is represented in this piece by the contrast between slow melodies and gestural arpeggios. As the piece continues, these two textures begin to influence one another, and juxtaposition gives way to union.

Rain, Steam, and Speed (2020)

solo cello; duration: ca. 4’45”

This piece for solo cello, written for the Sunset Chamberfest Young Composers’ Workshop, was inspired by J.M.W. Turner’s painting “Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway.” Through the four sections of the piece, each based on the same thematic material, the music becomes faster, clearer, and more energetic. The piece was premiered virtually on June 18, 2020, performed by Stella Cho at the Glendale City Church and live-streamed on YouTube.

Wythe (2020)

alto flute/C flute, B♭ bass clarinet, pedal harp, 2 violins, viola, cello; duration: ca. 5’30”

For our spring project in the LA Phil Composer Fellowship Program, my cohort was assigned to write mixed septets (flute, clarinet, harp, and string quartet) on the theme of architecture. The title of my piece, “Wythe“, refers to the Wythe House in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. This building was designed by one of my ancestors, and my grandparents’ house is a replica of it. Having been familiar with this architecture my whole life, it has a special place in my heart. However, although George Wythe himself was an abolitionist, the house was undoubtedly built and served by slaves for many years. It was my coming to terms with this awful fact that drove me to write this piece, which explores the conflict between the building’s beauty and the horrors of its past.

This piece was written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program. It was originally scheduled to be performed at the REDCAT theater of Walt Disney Concert Hall on June 6, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the performane was cancelled, so the video above uses a MIDI mockup of the piece, created in Sibelius.

Musings (2020)

solo flute; duration: ca. 3’15”

When I started working on Musings, I decided that I wanted to write a piece that would only make sense for solo flute. The piece begins with an opening gesture built up of three motifs, each of which is designed to play to a strength of the instrument: its agility, its melodic beauty, and a technique called “harmonics.” As these three ideas telescope into the three sections of the piece, the motifs continue to intertwine and merge with one another.

The piece was written for Elise Shope Henry as part of the LA Phil Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program, and was virtually premiered on June 29, 2020.

Prelude Op. 34 No. 6 (Dmitri Shostakovich, orch. 2020)

2.2.2.2–4.2.2.btbn.1–timp.perc–hp–str; duration: ca. 1’15”

This is my orchestration of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Prelude No. 6, from his 24 Preludes, Op. 36. It was written for the LA Phil Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program in March 2020, and was scheduled to be read by the American Youth Symphony on March 28. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reading was cancelled.