I'm a Boston-based software engineer and composer. This website covers my transition from a full-time freelance composer, where music was my livelihood, to a part-time composer with greater freedom to pursue more experimental ideas. I've had the opportunity to work on a lot of interesting projects in the process and it's exciting to be able to showcase so much of it in one place.

Generation I
Generative Composition 2017

Generative music: created by algorithms. As I’ve been building the algorithm I wanted to make sure that the focus was not the code, but the unexplored musical world it had the potential to bring to life. I wanted to make sure I didn’t try to emulate existing music but explored new paths into composition. It’s an extension of composition rather than a different way of composing the same thing.

At the core of the generative algorithm are the many algorithms it is made up of. Each of the smaller algorithms -- tempo algorithm, pitch algorithm, velocity algorithm, scale algorithm -- can be changed without affecting the remaining ones, many different implementations of each algorithm can be created. This flexibility has been my primary focus during the design phase, it’s the make-or-break of the approach, the process.

The key to the generative process is the decision making, where does the next rhythm come from, where does the next note come from, how hard should that note be played. In the simplest terms, the algorithm generates a series of messages like “play middle C softly for a quarter note.” Throughout this work, I’ve further explored the musical building blocks at the core of my music over the last couple of years. The core building blocks are heavily influenced by ideas presented in Messiaen’s Treatise on Rhythm, Color and Ornithology. In the treatise he cites Plainchant melodic intervals as a basis for melodic movement in western music, he presents 120 deci-talas, the exquisite ancient hindu rhythms as well as the captivating harmonic possibilities provided symmetrical modes.

Colorprints
Electronic Composition 2017

Colorprints is a personal platform for producing short, electronic musical ideas. These ideas are experimental and most importantly, they're an incredible amount of fun for me to write. They're like musical drawings. Sketches.

Mosaic
Electronic Composition, 2016

Mosaic incorporates electronic sounds, hindu rhythms and symmetrical modes into a diverse sequence of sonic colors – Mosaic is music for music's sake, abstract, with a focus on rhythmic, harmonic and formal freedom.

The three primary ideas in Mosaic are (1) my love for Messiaen's incredible writings on music theory and art, (2) my love for color, abstract art and (3) my experience with creating music digitally. Once I decided that the piece was going to be digital only, the possibilities for how I was going to express 'a sequence of sonic colors' all of a sudden became unlimited.

Whenever I look, listen or watch a piece of art, the quality that strikes me the most is the piece's ability to create its own world. A piece which can create its own world can move through time and stay whole while the world around it changes. Mosaic is born out of simple love for composition and it's a step closer to that wholeness.


The cover art is a photo of a mosaic created by Gaudi, in Barcelona.

Rhythm and Color
Electronic Composition, 2015

Rhythm and Color explores the concept of colors over time -- more subtle, abstract fireworks on a miniature scale. it strives for formal freedom, incorporating symmetrical modes, hindu rhythms and overlapping independent themes. A more abstract re-imagining of Fantasia -- it is designed as a journey through my favorite musical ideas. Throughout the work, a four-note melody serves as the thematic guide, the anchor that binds it together.

The primary aesthetic aspiration of the work is driven by Messiaen's unparalleled illustrations and teachings on the subject of rhythm and color. He often mentioned colors in the works of Max Ernst, Felix Labisse and, especially (my favorite) Robert Delaunay -- the conceptual foundation is rooted in Messiaen's "torrents of color."

Personally, this work represents a going back to my musical beginnings. When I started writing music back in high school, I composed to create something that was my own. Having spent four years working frantically as a freelance composer, and since moving to a more stable, non-musical day-job -- it feels incredible to go back to the beginning, and compose only to create.

Characters for Chamber Orchestra
Premiered by Inscape Chamber Orchestra on May 18th, 2014

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Characters is a dialogue with Jean Dubuffet's le ronde des images -- on view at the National Gallery of Art in DC. I find Dubuffet's work fascinating in general, but here the effect achieved by contrasting character portraits and textures was an important reference for the primary musical concept.

The music is built structurally and thematically as a collage. The themes, or characters, are short, playfully twisted ideas that are developed throughout the work into ever-changing textures. To be premiered by Inscape on May 18th.

Read more about the building blocks in Characters

Seed for String Orchestra
Recorded by Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra

In Seed, a short musical fragment, first heard in the opening bar, is developed into each texture. The work is driven by Hindu rhythms (deci-talas, the main theme is based on no. 53, sama) and symmetrical modes, especially Messiaen's Mode 3. Though the theme is often stated in its transformed form, its character -- which draws on the captivating clashing minor and major thirds feel -- binds the textures.
The spark for the piece was a short comment by Messiaen during the analysis of his own Turangalîla Symphony. It translates roughly to "as is the case in many classical pieces, the theme is much less interesting than its development." (Page 235, Tome II of Treatise on Rhythm, Color and Ornithology) The comment helped me focus on the various developmental ideas present in the piece.

Read more about the building blocks in Seed

Character for Solo Cello
Premiered by Tim Thulson on June 8th, 2014
Atlas Performing Arts Center, Wash. D.C.

Character for Solo Cello features a concise development of a theme that I came across during the composition of Characters, a recent piece for chamber orchestra. This little melody serves as the main source of every texture, every variation. The theme has a peculiar quality that I love, its stylistic flexibility allows for expressive interpretation during performance. Harmonically, the piece calls on on symmetrical modes, especially Messiaen's 3rd mode of limited transposition.
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