Shapeless – Like Water (2014) 4 min.
for 2 treble voices
Performed by Bullis Charter School Advanced choir MELODIA directed by David Belles
May 20, 2015 at First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto, CA.
Bruce Lee’s most famous quote is an amalgamation of a lot of different philosophies he studied. It is basically about adaptability. Being able to adapt to any situation is an important skill to have. I knew I would be writing for middle school students and I wanted to write something that would actually teach them something. I have applied Bruce Lee’s philosophies a lot in my life, especially music. I find myself absorbing multiple types of sound and music and using them despite their disparity. Different things coming together often produce beautiful new creations.
“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
Amy Haghighi – soprano
Elizabeth Calame – alto
Sean Cooper – tenor
Alex Kadarauch, Nick Vasallo – bass
Recorded and mixed by Nick Vasallo.
Universa in Latin means “all.” I am becoming increasingly focused on concentrated sounds. To live inside a sonority and explore its depth. Melody, memorable motifs, [a]tonal systems, and rhythmic cycles are unimportant in this realm. The sound is the form, and the form is the sound.
De civitatibus (2007) 4 min.
Premiere: June 13, 2009. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
2009 San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Competition winner
Performed by San Francisco Choral Artists at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church San Francisco June 13, 2009
Directed by Magen Solomon
I didn’t hear the name Carlo Gesualdo until my last year as an undergraduate music major. Upon my first hearing I felt a strange affinity and familiarity with his music. After studying several of his motets and madrigals, I composed this piece over the course of a single weekend just in time to honor CSU East Bay’s Professor Emeritus David Stein (who introduced me to Gesualdo) for his retirement ceremony. [JOB 24:12 De civitatibus fecerunt viros gemere, et anima vulneratorum clamavit: et Deus inultum abire non patitur. “The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the souls of the wounded cry out for help. But God charges no one with wrongdoing.”].