Look & Listen



(click on title to view score)

looking back

for violin solo

looking back is a theme with variations interrupted by an intermezzo — like life, or at least, like some lives. The theme consists of a series of gestures of two, three, four, five, six, and seven notes. The piece concludes with a restatement of the theme in retrograde, leaving open the possibility that what purported to be the theme initially was itself the retrograde, just a variation in the sequence leading up to what might be considered the “real” theme, which is revealed only at the end — like life, or at least, like some lives, and nearly as perplexing.

The work was premiered in Seattle by the violinist Karen Bentley Pollick. The recording on the playlist is of a live performance she gave in California in June, 2004.


for flute and viola

The prison referred to is one of my own devising: a strict rhythmic sequence that undergirds the first part of the piece, and certain restrictions as to the notes employed by each instrument. The unstructured last section serves as a meditation on the material of the first; a taste of sweet freedom from arbitrary restraint.

against hope

prelude and fugue for piano solo

War may be waged in any theater; the bombs and minefields may explode across the globe, outside your door, or within your spirit. against hope reflects the increasing tumult of a troubled time, mitigated only by the uneasy truce of a perfect fifth, and the consolation of a familiar form.

This is a recording of the premiere performance at the 2005 SCI Region VII conference in San Antonio on February 26 by pianist Sandra Ramawy, on the faculty of the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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