A Selective & Descriptive Catalog

(List in reverse chronological order; a classified list can be found here;  when not otherwise indicated, scores are available from Material Press.  All scores registered with GEMA.)

31 SPECTRAL MADRIGALS (2016) for Alvin Lucier on his 85th. For five equal voices.

DUO (2016) for violin and cello

60 MADRIGALS (2015) for three voices, for Ron Kuivila on his 60th

WILDE EHE (2014) Marsch für Klavier 4-Händig. Für Barbara Schmidt-Blankenhagen und Detlev Kittler zur Hochzeit

IN TIME'S A NOBLE MEASURE OF PROPORTION (2014) for chorus SATB. Text: E.E. Cummings. Ca. 2'. For Christina on our 25th

THE COWBELL IN HIS LIFE (2013) for viola and cowbell, for Hauke Harder on his 50th birthday (amplified viola and transducer on cowbell)

SONATA (2013) for oboe alone. Ca. 6'

SAPPHICS (2013) for violin.

BROUT MET FLILLEKEN (2013) solo flute. (3:25) with optional Double (also 3:25) which may be performed separately on the same program, the flutist possibly hidden from view,

DOUBLE HOCKET (2013) for three treble and two bass instruments, for example flute, clarinet, trumpet, bassoon & cello. Ca. 4’30”

(2013) variable resource duet or solo, for sustaining instrument(s). 9’34”

PROFESSOR PYTHAGORAS WOULD BE JEALOUS(2012) for electric guitar and six sine waves, 10-12', for Alvin Lucier on his 81st birthday.


FARONELLS GROUND (La Follia) (2012) for alto recorder and cello or viola da gamba

100,000,000,000,000 PIECES FOR CLARINET (2011-12) 10 pages, each of 14 lines in English sonnet form, recombinable in 10^14 different ways. With each piece ca. 1'30" in duration, a complete performace would last some 285198891 years. An homage to Raymond Queneau whose  100,000,000,000,000 Poems  is the obvious model.

AMONG THE WIRES, AN ILLUSION SPACE (2011) piano solo, for Alvin Lucier on his 80th birthday.  With the dampers of selected low bass tones raised silently, sharp attacks in the treble elicit beating and microtonal differences between partial tones.

(2011) five computers with shared mixer and sound system, another Beckett-Gray Code piece, each of the computers having its own library of water-related sounds to be sent to shared input channels and each able to process those sounds and send to a shared output.

(2011) for baritone and piano, lyrics: George Hitchcock,  Score in preparation.

(2011) for piano

(2010) six pieces for melody instrument and live electronics (programmed in pd) for my own use.

SOUS LES PAVÉS LA PLAGE! (2010) for flute, glockenspiel, and piano, optional version with oscillator and ring modulation.

CAME AND WENT (2009) for woodwind trio (flute, oboe, clarinet in Bb) ca 3'


Three cyclists leisurely lap around the perimeter of the performing space, the order (but not precise timing) and style of their bell-ringing is specified.  May be played alone or as an obligato part of the accompaniment to a forthcoming piece of out-of-doors music for solo violin and ensemble.

(2009) fifth wind quintet

Samuel  Beckett had planned to organize a theatre piece for four players, percussion and lights,
Quad, on the basis of a sequence in which every combination of the four players would be used, each combination in the sequence differing from its neighbor by the entrance or exit of only one player, and an exiting player is always the player who has been on stage longest. 

It turns out that the conditions Beckett set were mathematically impossible to realize with four players (making
Quad another example of the inexorable execution of an imperfect logic at work in Beckett), but solutions to what is now known as the Beckett-Gray code have been found for other numbers, among them n = 5, which immediately struck me as an interesting premise for a wind quintet, in which the player who has played longest is most deserving of a breather.  

ISN'T IT GREAT TO BE LIVING ON A PLANET?  (2009) solo melodica (f-f''') ca 2'20"

Imagine that the virtusos genre of choice of high modern music-making, ca 1957, had not been the David Tudor piano piece or the Severino Gazelloni flute solo but had, instead, been music for solo melodica; this is what you'd get.  The title quotes the composer Anthony Braxton  Free score available online at the Melodica! page.

NEGLECTED TOPIARY (2009) a book of music for flute, clarinet in Bb, percussion & guitar 17'00"

commissioned by Saarländischer Rundfunk for Ensemble L'Art pour L'Art

SOME HANDYWORK  (2009) easy pieces for piano 

for Walter Zimmermann's 60th birthday

THE LONG MARCH (2009) for four melodicas (prose score) 

exploits the found intonation of four off-the-shelf melodicas, for Taylan Susam; score available at Upload .. Download .. Perform

WE'RE NOT CROWDED (2009) ATB voices (text: Charles Chase)  ca 1'

OCCASIONALS for solo piano, including:  PIERRE TOSSES ONE OFF (2008) miniature;  TANGLED LULLABY (2008) ca 1';  WRITTEN OFF AS A SCOUNDREL (& I HAVEN'T EVEN MET THE WIFE) (2009) ca. 1'30" , VARIATIONS (2008) for piano ca 2', A MAP DRAWN FROM MEMORY (Portrait of Nanne Meyer in two parts)(2011) ca 2'00".

AN AUGUST EPISODE (2008) for brass quintet (2 tp, hn, tn, tb) 

FOR DOUGLAS LEEDY (2008)  (2 tp, 2 tb, spatially separated)

PERSIMMONS, A GROUND (2008) for solo recorder 
Written in memory of my teacher Shirley Robbins. Premiered by Tom Axworthy, in Claremont, April 22, 2008

DR ROGERS, HIS GROUND (2008) first version, second version
Having more archaic.

WHEN THE PARLOUR IS COLD (2008) for mittened pianist, piano, and portable sound system

This was written for
A WINTER ALBUM, an online anthology of small piano pieces by 15 composers (score available free online here)

THREE DAYS IN NOVEMBER (2007) for wind quintet gathers November the Thirteenth, November the Fifteenth and November the Nineteenth together as a Fourth Wind Quintet. (ca 10').

NOVEMBER 2007: 30 Pieces for various forces
The task was to compose a piece, a stand-alone piece with beginning and end, and perhaps some middle, each day for a month and to publish the score of each piece at my blog, Renewable Music. For various resources, one to many players or voices. The pieces carry, as titles, the date of composition and publication:  The First of November for (any) clarinet solo ca 1'10''; November the Second for five flutes or multiple quintets of flute 10'12"; The Third of November for three instruments (TrTrB, e.g. clarinet, muted trumpet, bassoon); November the Fourth chorale for SATB voices; A Fifth of November miniature for violin & piano 3p. ca. 40''; November the Sixth (cheap?) imitation for fl, ob, cl, bn, hn, tp, tb, cb 6p. ca. 2'30''; The Seventh of November ATB recorders; November the Eighth for clavichord; The Ninth of November for string trio ca. 1'45''; November the Tenth  for two voices over a ground bass; The Eleventh of November for harp; November the Twelfth for flute, clarinet, harp & percussion; The Thirteenth of November for wind quintet, ca. 3'; November the Fourteenth for soprano with flute, vibraphone, and piano (text: William Blake); The Fifteenth of November for wind quintet; November the Sixteenth  For winds & percussion. ca 4'40"; The Seventeenth of November for English Horn, Contrabassoon, Wagner-Tuba, Celesta & Harmonium. ca. 1'; November the Eighteenth for piano, microphone, oscillator, and ring modulator; The Nineteenth of November for wind quintet; November the Twentieth for string quartet. Ca. 2'50"; The Twenty-First of November minuet and trio for keyboard instrument; November the Twenty-Second two voice chorale; The Twenty-Third of November for cornet with flute, bass clarinet, contrabass; November the Twenty-Fourth for string trio; The Twenty-Fifth of November for string quartet. Ca. 20"; November the Twenty-Sixth for eight snare drums; The Twenty-Seventh of November three voice canon; November the Twenty-Eighth for three unison orchestras. Ca. 10'30''; The Twenty-Ninth of November for piano; November the Thirtieth for small orchestra and chorus (wordless). Ca. 3'.)  

Dr. WOLF's Complete & Correct SCHOOL of PIANO LEVITATION (2007) three etudes for piano two hands (1. Errors, Eliminated; 2. Knocking About; 3. Catching Butterflies), prose score
Studies in listening as much as playing; appropriate for younger players. Score available fromUpload .. Download .. Perform


AN UNEARTHING (2007) (Virgil, Georgics) unison voices, harp, optional percussion (3')

MR BRENNER, HIS PAVANE (2006) solo keyboard or variable resource ensemble (5')

Having archaic and eating it, too.

FOR JAS. TENNEY (2006) trio of alto, tenor, bass voices or instruments 

A memorial piece.

12 KLEINE PRÆLUDIEN (2006) piano solo 

Preludes are cadences elevated to epiphanies. When played as a set, I prefer that a circle-of-tempered-fifths sequence be used.  Most of these short pieces are dedicated to a colleague I have not yet met in person.

ACROSS THE POND (2004) for piano solo, homage to Ives & Schoenberg, in left and right versions (P, left version: Bratislava: Daan Vandewalle)

ETUDES for solo microtonal instruments (1994-2004), including: YET ANOTHER (OCTAL) FOR GORDON MUMMA (1994) harpsichord in 8-tone equal temperament, NOCTURNE (2004) keyboard in 9-tone equal temperament; ORTOLANS ENCORE UNE FOIS? (2002-4) keyboard in 11-equal temperament CHANGE OF REGIME (Prelude, Invention, & Air to a Ground in 13tet)(2004) keyboard in 13tet; IVOR DARREG IN EAGLE ROCK (2004) keyboard in 14tet; AMERICAN TREES & HOW TO CLIMB THEM: AN ACADEMIC PIECE keyboard in 15tet SAPPHO, DE SELBY & THE OTHER PRE-SOCRATICS (2004) keyboard in 16-tet PRELUDE (2004) keyboard in 17-tone equal temperament; DAUD SALAAM (2004) keyboard in 18-tet equal temperament PASSACAGLIAS & MINUETS (2003) for three instruments in 19-tone equal temperament;  RULE 42 (2004) keyboard in 21-tone equal temperament SUITE (2004) keyboard in 22-tone equal temperament SCACIATTA & FRUGUE (2004) keyboard in 23-tone equal temperament

The project in these etudes was to make music that sounds familiar with materials that do not immediately respond to the familiar.  A set of scores for instruments that, for the most part, do not yet exist.  My  long-term studies of musical intonation generally avoided these temperaments in favor of just intonation; this was an opportunity to work against my own habits.

BAGHDAD (2003) for piano solo, 22'45", a protest piece

DECOHERENCE for n orchestras of n players (1996-), for example:  Decoherence (3) (realisation: 2007) for nine players

Decoherence, stealing its name naively and cheerfully from physics, is an essay in counterpoint, or more precisely, an attempt to make counterpoint from an alternative premise or metaphor.  Instead of this against that the idea here is that same becomes different through a loss of cohesion, a coming apart.  This can be gradual (through accumulated errors, for example) or sudden, and just as suddenly, the ensemble can recohere.  This is a piece which may be realized in several possible versions for ensembles of different sizes, but each a square number of participants.  This arrangement allows the process of decoherence to be traced within and between the various "orchestras", and the moments of coherence or recoherence become sharp formal markers.  

GNOMIC ROUNDS for eb clarinet, bb clarinet, basset horn  (Nr. 1) (2006) ; Nr. 2 (2007); Nr. 3 (2007) 

An on-going series of brief rounds for a family of clarinets, eventually making up a small Serenade. Usually diatonic, but not necessarily tonal.

THE VIEW FROM HERE (2002) for Partch-style adapted viola and cd (P: Berlin, Marc Sabat)

THE WHITE CANOE (2000) opera seria for handpuppets, libretto by Edward Gorey, SATB voices, 2 violins, cello, tackpiano (ca. 45:00).   Mr. Gorey provided 13 scenes in rhymed couplets, narrating a story related to Moore's Ballad of the Great Dismal Swamp.  The set of recitatives, arias, choruses, and an insect ballet was an invitation to make music that resembled familiar music, and each scene is a unique solution to a problem of music-stylistic combinatorics.  I prefer that this piece be played with the tack piano tuned in 1/5 comma temperament.  Lou Harrison offered some practical advice about how to handle the recitatives, suggesting that I leave them in "free" rhythm, notating with noteheads without stems;  I decided against this as The White Canoe is a comic opera, and pacing is everything in a comic genre, so the rhythms had to be fixed or risk getting bogged down.  The opera was premiered and ran for nine performances, in Cotuit Town Hall, on Cape Cod, played by the puppets of Le Theatricule Stoique, in memory of Mr. Gorey.

DUO: DUA LOLO (2000) javanese gender barung slendro & simple system clarinet in C (premiered 26.2.00 in Frankfurt by D. Franque and D. Wolf.)

DESSINS D'ENFANTS (I) (1999) for trombone and piano for Hildegard Kleeb and Roland Dahinden, premiered in Kiel, October 1999.  . Dessins d'enfants are combinatorial objects which are drawings with vertices and edges on topological surfaces. Their interest lies in their relation with the set of algebraic curves defined over the closure of the rationals, and the corresponding action of the absolute Galois group on them. Dessins d'enfants were named by the great mathematician Alexandre Groethendieck.  These mathematical objects have nothing to do with the piece of music at hand, but the piece does have some affinity for childrens' artwork. I'd very much like to make more pieces like this for HK & RD.

FIELDWORK (String Quartet II.) (1996) 

 is a belated sixtieth birthday present for the composer Gordon Mumma. The sixteen strings of the quartet are tuned to relatively prime frequency ratios derived from the harmonic spectrum of the low cello C, and the pitches of the open strings, their natural harmonics, and sub-harmonics are heard in a very slow melody of single tones and aggregates deployed over sixty beats, each beat extending up to 12 seconds in duration. This rhythmic texture is in part a response to East Asian court musics, but also to the time brackets used in the later music of John Cage, but even more, a study in extreme rubato.

TWOITY (1995) flute & piano (P: Heidelberg, Philip Vandré and Yvonne Anselmont.)  Every composer's catalog gets the flute and piano piece it deserves.  The title is an hommage to the intuitionist philosopher and mathematician L.E.J.Brouwer.

FIGURE & GROUND (1994-95) violin, viola & cello premiered in Kiel, 1995 by the Thürmchen Ensemble, commissioned by the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein.

 The first movement is based on letters in Christian Wolff's name: pitch as static entities. The second is a strict mensural canon (both pitch and rhtyhm) in the proportions 1:2:3 (i.e. like the tuning of the three instruments): pitch as markers of proportion. The structure of the canon was determined by chance, but the details were through-composed.  The third is a study in an extended (11-limit) just intonation, with pitches starting to move from clear points of reference. The fourth in portamenti, mostly canons at either the octave or minor sixth (which is, acoustically, the richest). And the fourth is a passacagila in a fictional species, first plain and then with accidental ornaments, i.e. grounded and then figured. The passacaglia theme, separated by rests, grows with each iteration. The sul ponticello was chosen to obscure the fundamentals, but the resultant resemblance to viol playing was welcome.

VISTA for trombone, electronics & whistling teapot (1994) for Roland Dahinden, withdrawn

The contours of  a mountain view, taken at regular intervals of elevation, are translated into glissandi on successive overtones of a trombone and then recombined into a single view.  The piece has never worked, but ought to.

SOWING & REAPING (1994) violin, viola, cello & piano (P: Kiel, 1995 by the Thürmchen Ensemble.) In this short piece, either Ives & Schoenberg get together and chat about farming or an hommage is made to Alexandre Grothendieck.  A boustrophedon, written like an ox plows a field, up one row and then down the next.

IN BREGAGLIA (1993) miniature for violin & piano premiered in Kiel, 1995 by the Thürmchen Ensemble. 

A miniature written during a walk through the narrow Swiss valley of Bregaglia, from St. Moritz down to Chiavenna, just across the Italian border.

MR. CAGE, HIS WAKE (1993) drum solo with or without amplification premiered in Köln, 1993, by Tobias Liebezeit.

A memorial piece. A prose score.

CROSSING THE FIELD (1992- ) for piano with any of the following: soprano saxophone, trumpet, trombone, accordion, percussion, violin premiered in Bludenz, Austria 1992

Fields, one might notice, are a central concern around here.  A small piece for Hildegard Kleeb & friends.

TWO PIECES (1992) for piano

Two very brief piano pieces for Hauke Harder, who does not play piano.

FIELD STUDY (1991) for violin, banjo, guitar & trombone premiered Kiel 1991.  Studies in pitches arranged or, as the case may be, scattered across fields.

WAITING ROOMS (1991- ) installations Frankfurt, Kiel, Zug  Score: Four Tunings For Sound Environments,here (PDF) Use standing sine waves in rational proportions to create an audible architecture.

...finding the edge of the field... (1)(1989) guitar solo premiered 1998, Switzerland, by Seth Josel

PROSE ANTHOLOGY 1983-88) Including: DISTINCTIONS for small ensemble / CONNECTION (After William Billings) for ensemble / SCHOOL OF LEVITATION for any bowed instrument / ELECTRONIC PIECES: 1. All the wrong places, 2. Funhouse, or She Came Back, 3. One Last Wave / LARGE ENSEMBLE / BACKYARD CONSPIRACIES / SERENADE / SATISFACTORY RENOVATIONS OF FAMILAR CONTENTS / SARDINES  Available from Upload .. Download .. Perform.

Prose scores are wonderful tools for getting ideas straight; figuring out the conceptual lines and limits of a work both in general and in particular. They are particularly efficient for describing situations that may lead to a field of outcomes, unforseeable (unforhearable?) in detail. I started making scores with words - both as a way of communicating to musicians who had no knowledge of "conventional" notation and as a kind of sketching procedure before making a "conventional" score - well before I became aware of similar scores by others (Wolff, Cage, The Scratch Orchestra, Young, Oliveros, Stockhausen, Lucier, Mumma, Maue, Barlow), but the more I learned of this tradition, the more I began to appreciate the specific dynamics and advantages of the genre. Prose scores demand surgical editing but invite whimsy; they need to be as technical as the assembly instructions that should have come with the bicycle that your father couldn´t finish putting together on Christmas eve; they need to be attractive to the reader/performer; they might have literary qualities of their own (my "Poor Dog Musics" was once published in a literary journal (I have since withdrawn this score, it being politically incorrect in the extreme)); they may be as precise or a general as you like. I stopped making prose scores for public use sometime in the late eighties: the times and my own interests seemed to ask for new music in conventional notation. I do continue to make prose scores for private use and as a warm-up while composing a new piece, but the group of pieces included here strike me now as an accurate record of my musical work from 83-88, and point out areas of activity that have proven rich for subsequent work. (Postface, 1996)

PLANXTY (MORTON FELDMAN DIED LAST WEEK AT SIXTY-ONE) piano solo (1987) premiered 1991, Kiel, by Brigitta Romano 

Written on my cousin, Jeremiah Ormond's, farm Poulbautia, in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland.

TRIO: THE SANDS variable ensemble in just intonation (1985) premiered Real Art Ways, Hartford, 1985

A controlled random walk across a just intonation lattice.

PASSACAGLIA for chamber orchestra (1983)

Every composer needs an Opus One, a journeyman piece, between student and "real" pieces.  This is mine, a Passacaglia with a theme that expands and contracts, is realized in a coherent counterpoint but disfunctional harmony, using throughout one of the species of counterpoint (three voices, in perpetual suspension in triple metre) that Messrs Fux & Co. forgot to put in their manuals. A small study in orchestration.

HOMAGE TO PROPERTIUS (1982) cantata for Baritone, Oboe, Alto Trombone, Electric Guitar and Contrabass, text by Norman O. Brown.

SONATAS FOR SEPTET (1981-82) fl,bcl,tp,tb,pno,vn,cb

MULTNOMAH RIFFS (1981) variable resource ensemble  My contribution to the minimal repertoire.

FOR POLYHYMNIA (1980) trombone & American gamelan commissioned by Lou Harrison & William Colvig, premiered, Cabrillo Music Festival 1980, Robert Szabo, trombone.

STRING QUARTET I. (1978) in just intonation 

Juvenilia, but still quite sweet.

CONCERTO (1978) on the double hexany for retuned piano and winds, just intonation

PALINODE (1977) violin and piano

32 SONATAS (1976- ) solo keyboard (PDF file of Picking Up The Pieces (Sonata No. 14) for prepared piano (130KB))

When I shuffle off, I intend to leave 32 keyboard sonatas, which have been written and continuously re-written for private pleasures only.

OLD BALDY (March in F) (1975-76) for band 

I played trombone in school, and I played in bands, until I decided I did not like to march. Nevertheless, I still managed to write three marches, in F, Bb, and Eb.  "Old Baldy" is named for Mt. San Antonio, as everyone needs a mountain in their life, and this is mine.

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