This fall, I'll be wrapping up three works for some amazing musicians who I have come to know in the past 5 years through school or music festivals! The first is Silhouettes for bassoon and piano, a 15-minute, 5-movement work commissioned by my former professor Jeffrey Lyman. Silhouettes was inspired by the Paris Conservatory's concours tradition in that it is a large-scale work in which I explored the concept of "virtuosity" for the bassoon beyond technique (a.k.a. "fast notes") including radical dynamic shifts, very long lyrical phrases, registral endurance in both the high, medium, and low registers, as well as in terms of ensemble as the piano part is nearly an equal voice in terms of texture and sound.
The second work is for oboist and soprano Kristin Leitterman, currently Assistant Professor of Double Reeds at Auburn University. A collaborative piece with composers Whitney George, Michael Foumai, and poet Rajiv Mohabir, my work is one piece of a large-scale cycle entitled Leela Out of Darkness. Placing a character named Leela at the center of the narrative, the work draws upon the notion that "spiritual beings having a material experience, which has a natural parallel to Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist concepts, highlighting the interconnection in all things." My contribution to this will be a 5-song cycle entitled Panch Mahabhuta containing short elemental poems: Sky, Air, Fire, Water, Earth.
And the third is a work for vibraphone and piano for the electrifying Back Pocket Duo (Annie Jeng, pianist and Colin McCall, percussionist). I met these two during graduate school at the University of Michigan, and since forming in 2016, they have found a musical niche somewhere between pop and classical music. Back Pocket Duo works with composers to develop new repertoire for piano and percussion. Our project focuses on the theme of "empathy" and aims to blur the lines between traditional roles delineated in typical concert music: performer to performer, performer to listener, composer to performer to listener, etc.