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Mixed Chamber Ensembles

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Piano + 1-2 Instruments

  • DOUBLE TROUBLE • 10’ • 2 vlns, pno
    I. All Revved Up
    (excerpt)
    III. Face-Off
    (excerpt)
    II. Nocturne
    (excerpt)

    AUDIO
    Callisto Ensemble

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2004

    COMMISSIONER
    Callisto Ensemble

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Double Trouble's instrumentation presented an intriguing challenge: what could I do with two violins that I can't with one? One idea that immediately sprang to mind was to sustain four strings at once. On a single violin, the performer can only sustain two out of four strings simultaneously due to the curvature of the instrument's bridge and the flatness of the bow. Thus, with two violins, I envisioned one "super violin" that can sustain its total number of strings. This concept is utilized throughout the piece.

    The piece contains three movements, each with a different character. All Revved Up gets things moving and shaking as it depicts a motorcycle that is revving to life. Nocturne, the second movement, continuously alternates between introverted and extroverted personalities. The final movement, Face-off, is a playful competition in which all three instruments steal brief moments in the spotlight.
    -S.G.
  • KRAKATOA • 19’ • viola concerto (piano concert version)
    INSTRUMENTATION
    Viola soloist and piano
    Also available for viola soloist and orchestra. See
    Concertos.

    I. Imminent
    II. Eruption
    III. Dormant

    VIDEO
    Michael Hall, viola, and Michael Delfin, piano

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2017

    COMMISSIONER
    Barlow Endowment

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_krakatoa_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES

    On May 20, 1883, a cloud of ash rose six miles high above Krakatoa, a volcano nestled on an island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. For the next two months, the volcano rumbled and spewed occasional dust and debris into the air, giving nearby inhabitants a spectacular show. On August 26th, Krakatoa turned deadly with an enormous blast that spewed pyroclastic flows (a blend of ash, lava, and gases) and pumice (lava that mixes with water and solidifies quickly into rock), and commenced a series of eruptions. On the next day, the volcano produced four enormous eruptions over four and a half hours. These eruptions were so loud (particularly the fourth) that they could be heard 3,000 miles away, and so devastating that two-thirds of the island sank back under the sea. The effects of Krakatoa’s eruptions were staggering: they sent shock waves into the atmosphere that circled the globe at least seven times; they triggered numerous tsunamis, the highest nearly 120 feet tall, which flooded and destroyed 165 coastal villages along with their inhabitants; and they propelled tons of ash roughly fifty miles up into the atmosphere. This ash blotted out the sun in Indonesia for days; it also lowered global temperatures for several years afterwards, and produced a wide range of atmospheric colors and phenomena. At least 36,000 people tragically lost their lives that fateful day. For the next forty-four years, Krakatoa was silent below the sea. This silence ended in 1927, when fishermen spotted steam and debris rising from the island. Within a year, a new volcano began to take shape above sea level. This new volcano is named Anak Krakatau, which translates to “child of Krakatoa,” and periodically experiences small eruptions.

    Krakatoa for solo viola, strings, and percussion follows the path of the volcano’s four main eruptions. In the first movement, Imminent, the violist uneasily plays as the orchestra (representing the volcano) shows ever-increasing signs of awakening. The orchestra bursts forth into the second movement, Eruption, where it proceeds through four eruptions that get progressively more cataclysmic. After the final and most violent eruption, the violist plays a cadenza that eases the volcano into the third movement, Dormant. In this final movement, the volcano slumbers, soothed by musical traits that I borrowed from traditional Javanese gamelan music: a cyclical, repetitive structure in which the largest gong is heard at the end of each cycle, and a musical scale loosely based on the Javanese pelog tuning system. The movement ends peacefully with an array of string harmonics, representing the intense and brilliantly colored sunsets generated by Krakatoa’s ash in the earth’s atmosphere.

    Krakatoa was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University.

    -S.G.
  • NEUROTICHOTOMY • 7’15” • vln, pno
    Movement 1: Dichotomy
    (excerpt)
    Movement 3: Lotsachotomy
    (excerpt)
    Movement 2: Trichotomy
    (excerpt)

    AUDIO
    Gregory Fulkerson, violin, and Charles Abramovic, piano

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2002

    COMMISSIONER
    Gregory Fulkerson

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Neurotichotomy is a microscopic violin sonata: its first movement contains a traditional sonata-allegro structure; the middle movement is a slow theme and variations; and the third is a scherzo-trio. But each movement is a tightly packed microcosm of what a proper sonata would contain. In addition, the name of each movement reflects how many elements are important. Dichotomy, the first movement, contains two primary elements - the two contrasting themes of a typical sonata-allegro. Trichotomy, the second movement, has three descending scales - one in the violin, and one in each hand of the piano. The final movement, Lotsachotomy, has so many elements (including a twelve tone row, a tango, and a quote from a work I wrote a year ago) that I felt completely neurotic by the time I pinned a double bar to the piece, hence the title Neurotichotomy.
    -S.G.
  • NOIR VIGNETTES • 13’ • vc, pno Enter description here.
    I. Murder at Midnight
    II. Loaded Gun
    III. Femme Fatale

    IV. Last Cigarette

    VIDEO
    Ensemble for These Times; Anne Lerner-Wright, cello, and Dale Tsang, piano

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2014

    COMMISSIONER
    University of Illinois Research Board on behalf of Michael Cameron for the Sonata Project

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    In the mid-1940s, film critics in France noticed a trend emerging in movies from the United States, which they coined film noir (which translates to “black film”). These movies were dark, moody, and pessimistic, reflecting the agitation and anxiety present in society following World War II. Several characteristics are commonly found in many of these movies, including a strong but flawed male lead (often a detective or P.I.), a beautiful woman who either coerces the male lead into committing murder for her or is a killer herself (a “femme fatale”), and a twisting, turning plot line that involves one or more homicides. Additionally, there are several visual elements that these movies share: many are shot in black and white, with great emphasis on the use of shadows and light; alcohol and cigarettes are heavily consumed by men and women alike; and men typically wear trench coats and fedoras. Most of the story lines do not have happy endings. Examples of film noir include Orson Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai, Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity, and John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon.

    Noir Vignettes for double bass and piano consists of four movements, each depicting a different aspect of film noir: Murder at Midnight, Loaded Gun, Femme Fatale, and Last Cigarette. This piece was commissioned by the University of Illinois Research Board on behalf of double bassist Michael Cameron.
    -S.G.
  • NOIR VIGNETTES • 13’ • db, pno Enter description here.
    I. Murder at Midnight
    II. Loaded Gun
    III. Femme Fatale

    IV. Last Cigarette

    VIDEO
    Guillerme Ehrat Zils, double bass, and Pei-I Wang, piano

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2014

    COMMISSIONER
    University of Illinois Research Board on behalf of Michael Cameron for the Sonata Project

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    In the mid-1940s, film critics in France noticed a trend emerging in movies from the United States, which they coined film noir (which translates to “black film”). These movies were dark, moody, and pessimistic, reflecting the agitation and anxiety present in society following World War II. Several characteristics are commonly found in many of these movies, including a strong but flawed male lead (often a detective or P.I.), a beautiful woman who either coerces the male lead into committing murder for her or is a killer herself (a “femme fatale”), and a twisting, turning plot line that involves one or more homicides. Additionally, there are several visual elements that these movies share: many are shot in black and white, with great emphasis on the use of shadows and light; alcohol and cigarettes are heavily consumed by men and women alike; and men typically wear trench coats and fedoras. Most of the story lines do not have happy endings. Examples of film noir include Orson Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai, Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity, and John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon.

    Noir Vignettes for double bass and piano consists of four movements, each depicting a different aspect of film noir: Murder at Midnight, Loaded Gun, Femme Fatale, and Last Cigarette. This piece was commissioned by the University of Illinois Research Board on behalf of double bassist Michael Cameron.
    -S.G.
  • SILVER DAGGER • 4’45” • cl, vc, pno Enter description here.

    YOUTUBE AUDIO
    Lincoln Trio (piano trio version)

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2009

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    In 1994, I heard for the first time an Appalachian folk song called Silver Dagger at a folk festival. The simplicity of the melody joined with a cautionary love tale enthralled me, and I spent the next several years researching the song. What emerged from my research were dozens of variants of the song, both in terms of text as well as melody and title. The variants that I discovered could be grouped more or less under three different titles: Silver Dagger, Drowsy Sleeper, and Katie Dear. All of these versions revolve around the same Romeo and Juliet premise: a boy asks a girl for her parents’ consent to marry.  The story has various endings: the parents won’t give approval, so the girl and boy each end their lives with a silver dagger; the girl turns the boy down and sends him away to find another love; the girl forsakes her parents and runs away with the boy; and so on. In my trio, I incorporate two complete versions of the folk song, one of Katie Dear and one of Silver Dagger, as well as motives from a variant of Drowsy Sleeper.
    -S.G.
  • SILVER DAGGER • 4’45” • fl, vc, pno Enter description here.

    VIDEO
    Heare Ensemble

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2009

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    In 1994, I heard for the first time an Appalachian folk song called Silver Dagger at a folk festival. The simplicity of the melody joined with a cautionary love tale enthralled me, and I spent the next several years researching the song. What emerged from my research were dozens of variants of the song, both in terms of text as well as melody and title. The variants that I discovered could be grouped more or less under three different titles: Silver Dagger, Drowsy Sleeper, and Katie Dear. All of these versions revolve around the same Romeo and Juliet premise: a boy asks a girl for her parents’ consent to marry.  The story has various endings: the parents won’t give approval, so the girl and boy each end their lives with a silver dagger; the girl turns the boy down and sends him away to find another love; the girl forsakes her parents and runs away with the boy; and so on. In my trio, I incorporate two complete versions of the folk song, one of Katie Dear and one of Silver Dagger, as well as motives from a variant of Drowsy Sleeper.
    -S.G.
  • THE SOLITUDE OF STARS PROJECT • 5’ • assorted duos and trios Enter description here.

    VIDEO

    Joseph Francavilla, solo piano arrangement

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2020

    COMMISSIONER
    Utah Arts Festival commissioned the original sextet.

    ARRANGEMENTS
    Duos
    • flute, piano
    • oboe, piano
    • english horn, piano
    • clarinet, piano
    • bassoon, piano
    • soprano sax, piano
    • soprano sax, marimba
    • also sax, piano
    • violin, piano
    • viola, piano
    • violoncello, piano
    • soprano (voice), piano

    Trios*
    • flute, violoncello, piano
    • oboe, bassoon, piano
    • soprano and baritone saxophones, piano
    • clarinet, bass clarinet, piano
    • violin, violoncello, piano
    *The treble and bass instruments (other than the piano) are interchangeable between all trio versions.

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Coming in 2020/21

    PROGRAM NOTES
    In 2014, I enjoyed a wonderful residence at the Ucross Foundation in Clearmont, Wyoming. Ucross is an artist colony that gives writers, composers, and visual artists the gift of time, space, and support to follow their artistic pursuits; we are provided with studio space, housing, and meals so that we can work continuously on our projects. I have been in residence at numerous artist colonies; however, nothing in my previous experiences prepared me for living in such isolated, wild country. Ucross is situated on a 20,000-acre cattle ranch at nearly 4,000 feet in elevation with fewer than 150 people living within the town. But what Clearmont lacks in population, it makes up for abundantly and spectacularly in wilderness and wildlife. I composed the sextet Postcards from Wyoming to offer three glimpses of what I found to be the most striking aspects of my residence. The Solitude of Stars, the third and final movement of the original sextet, was inspired by the stunning nightly display of the heavens above. Without city lights dimming the night sky, countless stars shone brightly over the vast expanse of the prairie.

    During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, I undertook The Solitude of Stars Project, which contains multiple duo and trio arrangements that I made for colleagues and friends.

    -S.G.
  • TORQUE • 13’ • vla, pno Enter description here.
    I. Momentum
    II. Stasis

    VIDEO

    Michael Hall, viola, and Christopher Janwong McKiggan, piano

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2006

    COMMISSIONER
    Barlow Endowment

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Torque was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for violist Viacheslav Dinerchtein.  This tour de force for viola and piano consists of two movements that are complete opposites of each other. The first movement, entitled Momentum, starts with the viola and piano aggressively sharing a single note. Things start swirling out of control: the music gains greater and greater tension as the musicians turn and twist their way into ever smaller spirals, right on up to the end of the movement. The second movement, Stasis, offers a peaceful, angelic repose as it gently unwinds the pressure that has been built up by the two instrumentalists.
    -S.G.
  • THE TRUMPETS AT JERICHO • 5’30” • 2 tpts, pno Enter description here.
    YEAR COMPOSED
    2012

    COMMISSIONER
    Chicago Chamber Musicians

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    When the Chicago Chamber Musicians commissioned me to write a new work for trumpeters Barbara Butler and Charlie Geyer, Barbara and Charlie told me about several historical and fictional stories that involved trumpets. One that vividly captured my imagination was the battle of Jericho. In this biblical story, the Israelites cross the Jordan River in their pursuit of the conquest of Canaan; Jericho was the first city in their path. As instructed by God, the Israelites circled the city’s walls once a day for six days, led by blaring trumpets. The Trumpets at Jericho traces the Israelites’ activities on the seventh day, in which they circle the walls seven times and triumphantly bring down the walls amidst trumpet blasts. The piece ends with the trumpets paying tribute to Jericho’s dead.
    -S.G.

Duos

  • ROAD WARRIOR • 21’ • tpt/piccolo tpt, organ
    YEAR COMPOSED
    2018

    COMMISSIONER
    Clarion Duo

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    When Clarion members Keith Benjamin (trumpet), Melody Steed (organ), and I initially discussed possible topics for a new piece, Keith brought up his son Cameron, who had passed away at the age of seven from leukemia. While Cameron’s life ended too soon, he left an indelible and lasting mark on his those surrounding him. Keith asked if I could commemorate Cameron musically. In talking over possible ways to do this, Keith mentioned the book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. The book was written by Neil Peart, who is well-known as the longtime drummer and lyricist of the band Rush. Peart suffered the heartbreaking loss of his daughter in 1997, followed by his wife ten months later. In an effort to work through the grieving process, Peart did what his wife suggested before she passed: he got onto his motorcycle and hit the open road. Ghost Rider chronicles a year of Peart’s life in which he drove for 55,000 miles, zigzagging his way across Canada, the western portion of the United States, Mexico, and Belize. Peart’s powerful story illustrates how he coped with immense loss and eventually emerged on the other side to once again embrace life. Keith had found Peart’s book helpful in dealing with Cameron’s death; moreover, Mr. Peart sent Cameron a signed cymbal while he was in the hospital undergoing treatment. This unexpected gesture of compassion and generosity meant the world to both Cameron and Keith.

    I chose three phrases from Peart’s book to serve as the inspiration for the movements in
    Road Warrior. In the first movement, I am the ghost rider, I imagined the performers to be howling phantoms that are haunting drivers on a nearly deserted highway. Peart often mentioned that he felt haunted by ghosts from the past while on his journey, and sometimes felt like a ghost himself, moving through an immaterial world as he rode from town to town. The second movement, My little baby soul, references Peart’s wording to define his own inner essence that he was trying to protect and nurture while on his journey. In this gentle movement, I capture the innocence and simplicity of a newborn soul. The piece concludes with Are you with me here? In this movement, I depict the performers as they search to find connections to those they have lost, and to those still living. Over the course of his travels, Peart kept up a steady letter correspondence with his close friend Brutus. In one of his first letters, he repeatedly asks Brutus if he is with him in spirit. I found it to be very poignant that while in his self-imposed exile, Peart discovered that he still needed connections to humanity.

    I wish to thank Mr. Peart for granting me permission to use his phrases as the movement titles, and for serving as the inspiration for
    Road Warrior. Rarely do any of us make it through our lives without being touched by the loss of someone dear to us. I found Peart’s insights into his grieving and recovery process to be insightful, eloquent, and surprisingly comforting. His journey is a touching reminder that with enough fortitude and time, we can work through what fate deals us and continue down our own road of life.

    -S.G.
  • STUBBORN AS HELL • 5’40” • 2 cl

    AUDIO

    Mélomane Duo (Kristi Hanno and Jenny Maclay), clarinets

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2011

    COMMISSIONER
    Robert Spring (clarinet version)


    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Stubborn as Hell was commissioned by virtuoso clarinetist Robert Spring. I heard Bob perform in September 2010 when I attended his clarinet concert at Arizona State University – Tempe. Bob is one of those wondrous musicians that plays the most challenging pieces written for the instrument and make them sound effortless. When he commissioned me, I wanted to write a piece that not only reflected his technical and musical abilities, but also his great sense of humor, hence the title and premise of the piece. The “stubbornness” of the title refers to the manner in which the two instruments incessantly battle each other around the pitch D, and how they willfully get stuck repeating pitches and gestures.

    The composer made an arrangement of the piece for two soprano saxophones in 2016.
    -S.G.
  • SUENOS DE FLAMENCO • 4’45” • fl, classical gtr
    The commissioner has exclusive performance rights until April 10, 2020. They also have exclusive recording rights until April 10, 2021.

    VIDEO - drag the cursor to 19’24” to watch.

    Duo Montagnard

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2018

    COMMISSIONER
    Duo Montagnard

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Flamenco is an art form involving highly dramatic music and dance. The form is strongly associated with the Andalusia region of southern Spain. Its actual origins are less clear, though historians theorize that gypsies brought the predecessors of flamenco to the region as they migrated from India prior to the 15th century. The form took on traits from cultures that the gypsies encountered in Andalusia, including Spanish, Sephardic, Islamic, and Moorish musical traditions. Over the centuries, Spain’s ruling classes undertook systematic persecutions of populations who did not agree with their religious ideals, forcing gypsies to take refuge in Andalusia’s isolated mountain regions to survive. Not surprisingly, the topics of the gypsies’ songs frequently touch on longing, despair, rage, anguish, and hope.

    Sueños de Flamenco (Flamenco Dreams) portrays a young gypsy couple who dance the flamenco with great longing, passion, and vigor. The piece was commissioned by Duo Montagnard (Joseph Murphy, saxophone, and Matthew Slotkin, guitar).

     -S.G.

Trios

  • ARCHANGELS 11’15” • 3 fl
    I. Michael (Warrior)
    II. Raphael (Healer)
    III. Gabriel (Heralder)

    The commissioners have exclusive recording rights until December 15, 2020.

    VIDEO

    Christopher Creviston, Samuel Detweiler, and Justin Rollefson
    Arizona State University, Katzin Concert Hall, 3/26/19

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2018

    COMMISSIONERS
    Christopher Creviston, Samuel Detweiler, and Justin Rollefson

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Information coming soon.

    PROGRAM NOTES

    I have always been fascinated with the concept of archangels – huge, supernatural beings with gigantic wings who visit earth to carry out their heavenly tasks. Archangels are the “chief” angels in Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions. The precise number of these high-ranking celestial beings varies from one religious source to another (typically from four to seven). The three movements of Archangels depict Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel—the three archangels most commonly referenced.

    Michael is a warrior who is ever vigilant to march into battle against forces of evil. In art, he is often portrayed with his wings spread open in mid-flight and wielding a large sword that is raised into an attack position. The first movement begins with the foreboding sound of his large, beating wings. Suddenly, Michael appears in all of his terrible glory and wreaks havoc on an army of demons.

    Raphael is a Hebraic name that translates to “God heals,” and he is in charge of all manners of healing. Artwork of Raphael typically shows him holding a staff, and he is often pictured with the round cheeks associated with a young cherub. In this quiet middle movement, Raphael gently makes his rounds to tend to the sick.

    Gabriel is the heralder of news. In Christianity, Gabriel’s purpose is quite significant: he appears to Zechariah to announce the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary to announce the forthcoming birth of Jesus. Gabriel is often depicted holding a scepter, a stem of lilies, or an unfurled scroll. In this final movement of the piece, Gabriel trumpets his news for all to hear.

    This piece was commissioned by saxophonists Christopher Creviston, Samuel Detweiler, and Justin Rollefson.

    -S.G.

    LISTING FOR CONCERT PROGRAM
    Please list the piece as follows:
    Archangels
    I. Michael (Warrior)
    II. Raphael (Healer)
    III. Gabriel (Heralder)
  • ROMANI SONGS • 18’15” • fl/alto fl, classical gtr, vc
    Cavatina Duo has exclusive performance and recording rights until further notice.

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2019

    COMMISSIONER
    Cavatina Duo - Eugenia Moliner, flute and Denis Azabagic, guitar

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Romani (the preferred term to Gypsies) originated in India, which they left in the late 14th century and early 15th century to head into central and eastern Europe. They developed and maintained their own unique customs and laws as they spread across the continent. Their attraction to a nomadic lifestyle, along with their habits of keeping their traditions and language to themselves and not emphasizing education among their populations, kept the Romani on the fringes of society. They have been ostracized and persecuted time and again in a variety of countries. Yet the Romani continue to survive and flourish.

    In my research into the Romani, I was struck by the connection Romani have with the natural world, along with the sheer beauty of their music; my piece focuses on these two topics. The first movement,
    Song from the twisting road, contains quotations from Djelem, Djelem, a traditional song that was chosen by the First World Romani Congress in 1971 to be the national anthem of the Romani people. The title translates to a person traveling on a long road. Song of the restless wind, the second movement, represents the Romani’s connection to nature; in this movement, we hear the wind playfully skip and swirl over the landscape. The third movement, Song for the coming spring, is my arrangement of Ederlezi, a traditional song. Its title is the Romani term for the Feast of St. George, a holy day celebrated in the Balkans; the song welcomes the changing of seasons from winter to spring. The fourth and final movement, Song of the boundless soul, represents the sheer joy of the Romani when they are performing music and dancing. I was particularly influenced by watching Romani dancers in a variety of videos, so the center of this movement features the cellist as a solo dancer. This “dancer” is accompanied by a rhythm section created from the guitarist turning the guitar into a percussion instrument and the flutist clapping and stomping.

    Romani Songs was commissioned by the Cavatina Duo - Eugenia Moliner, flute and Denis Azabagic, guitar.

    -S.G.

Quartets

  • LITTLE BITS • 8’30” • cl, vln, vc, pno
    I. Sputter
    III. Pithy
    II. Crumbs
    IV. Morsel
    V. Double Dare

    AUDIO
    Eberli Ensemble

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2000

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view full score and parts product page
    Click to view full score only product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    little bits was written in the summer of 2000 at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Each composer who came to the Center wrote a piece while in residence, which was rehearsed and premiered by the Eberli Ensemble (who were also in residence with guest composer Aaron Jay Kernis). Given the brevity of time in which to write, I chose to compose super-short movements, each focusing on a specific set of parameters, colors, and textures. For instance, the first movement deals with a twelve-tone row that could only be manipulated in specific ways, while the second is a short tribute to American composer George Crumb. The piece concludes with a slightly longer movement that is both a whirlwind and a smorgasborg of three different bits.
    -S.G.
  • WICKED • 13’30” • 2 pno, 2 perc
    Movement 1
    (excerpt)
    Movement 3
    (excerpt)
    Movement 2
    (excerpt)

    AUDIO
    Excerpts performed by Klang
    Commissioned by the
    Barlow Endowment

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2002

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view full score and set of parts product page
    Click to view full score only product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Wicked, a three movement work for two pianos and percussion, follows the downfall of one who brings unfortunate consequences upon himself. The awakening of a wicked thought in our character’s mind (movement I) compels him to commit a deed that leads to alienation and exile (movement II), which sends him over the edge and into his own personal hell (movement III).

    Wicked draws upon a wide spectrum of percussion instruments with each movement requiring its own particular grouping of instruments (there is some overlap of instruments from movement to movement). The third and final movement is the climactic tour de force of the piece as the pianists face off against anvils, cowbells, pipes, coils, and numerous other noisemakers.
    -S.G.

Quintets

  • LEGENDS OF OLYMPUS • 24’ • 2 tpts/flugelhorns, hn, tbn, tba
    I. Helios
    II. Aphrodite
    III. Hermes
    IV. Apollo
    V. Dionysus

    AUDIO
    Gaudete Brass Quintet

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2016

    COMMISSIONER
    Gaudete Brass Quintet

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to visit product page

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Please note that these can either be printed in a concert program or spoken aloud by various performers between movements.

    In ancient Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is the dwelling place of the gods and goddesses. Legends of Olympus depicts five of these deities.

    Helios is the god of the sun. His head is wreathed in light, and he drives a chariot drawn by four horses across the sky each day. In some tales, these horses are winged; in others, they are made of fire. At the end of each day’s journey, Helios sleeps in a golden boat that carries him on the Okeanos, a freshwater river that encircles the flat earth. Before dawn, the boat brings him back to his palace on Mount Olympus to collect his horses and chariot. Then he starts the journey again.

    Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty. She was born from the sea and brought ashore on a wave of foam. She carries herself with the regal bearing of a queen. Each year, her beauty is replenished when she dives into the sea once more.

    Hermes is a merry and mischievous young god with a sharp wit. Zeus, his father, appointed Hermes as the messenger between the inhabitants of Olympus and the people on earth. Hermes goes about his errands wearing golden shoes and cap, both adorned by a pair of wings.

    Apollo is the god of music. His brother, Hermes, once played a trick on him by stealing all of Apollo’s cows. To appease Apollo’s anger, Hermes crafted a golden lyre. Apollo was so entranced with this stringed instrument that he traded his entire herd of cows to Hermes for it. In this movement, we hear Apollo picking up his lyre for the first time and strumming it. The brass quintet serves as the lyre, working together to represent the instrument.

    Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, wine, and revelry. He carries a pine-cone tipped staff and wears a crown of ivy leaves. He spends his time teaching mortals the craft of growing grapes and making wine. In this movement, Dionysus arrives at a party bearing wine. The party gets more and more frenzied as the partiers drink and dance the night away.

    -S.G.
  • REMNANTS OF NINE • 6’30” • fl, cl, vc, pno, perc

    AUDIO
    Banff Centre for the Arts musicians

    YEAR COMPOSED
    1999

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
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    PROGRAM NOTES
    Remnants of Nine contains a playful mix of motor rhythms, pedal points, big boomy piano and percussion noises, and some tone row theory. The source material for the piece is a fourteen chord row which are all major or minor triads (thus giving the piece a modal sound). The work begins with a slow introduction in which several melodies are stated as well as fragments of the chord row. After a brief pause, the work jumps to a fast tempo and shows off its themes and row via a mixture of pedal point sections and orchestrally altered versions of the chord row. The piece feverishly spins forward at full tilt through a maze of short, linked sections until it blazes its brightest in a no-holds-barred ending.
    -S.G.
  • RITES FOR THE AFTERLIFE • 16’20” • reed quintet (ob/eh, cl, sop/alto sax, bass cl, bn)
    I. Inscriptions from the Book of the Dead
    II. Passage through the Netherworld
    III. The Hall of Judgement

    IV. The Field of Reeds

    VIDEO
    Akropolis Reed Quintet

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2018

    COMMISSIONER
    Rites for the Afterlife was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment on behalf of the Akropolis Reed Quintet, Calefax Reed Quintet, and the Brigham Young University Reed Quintet.

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
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    PROGRAM NOTES
    The ancient Egyptian empire began around 3100 B.C. and continued for over 3000 years until Alexander the Great conquered the country in 332 B.C. Over the centuries, the Egyptian empire grew and flourished into a highly developed society. They invented hieroglyphics, built towering pyramids (including the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World), and the created many household items we still use today, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, eyeliner, black ink, and the forerunner of modern-day paper.

    Included among their achievements were a series of highly developed funerary practices and beliefs in the Afterlife. As the average lifespan of an Egyptian hovered around 30 years, living past the death of one’s physical body was a legitimate concern. Egyptians believed that upon death, their souls would undertake a harrowing journey through the Netherworld. If they survived the horrific creatures and arduous trials that awaited them, then their souls would be reunified with their bodies (hence the need to preserve the body through mummification) and live forever in a perfect version of the life they had lived in Egypt. To achieve this, Egyptians devised around 200 magical spells and incantations to aid souls on the path to the Afterlife. These spells are collectively called
    The Book of the Dead. Particular spells would be chosen by the family of the deceased and inscribed on the tomb’s walls and scrolls of papyrus, as well as on a stone scarab placed over the deceased’s heart. Subsequent collections of spells and mortuary texts, such as The Book of Gates, assisted a soul in navigating the twelve stages of the Netherworld. Not only did these spells protect and guide the soul on this dangerous path, but they also served as a safeguard against any unbecoming behavior an Egyptian did while alive. For instance, if a person had robbed another while alive, there was a spell that would prevent the soul’s heart from revealing the truth when in the Hall of Judgement.

    Rites for the Afterlife follows the path of a soul to the Afterlife. In
    Inscriptions from the Book of the Dead (movement 1), the soul leaves the body and begins the journey, protected by spells and incantations written on the tomb’s walls. In Passage though the Netherworld (movement 2), the soul is now on a funerary barque, being towed through the Netherworld by four of the region’s inhabitants. We hear the soul slowly chanting incantations as the barque encounters demons, serpents, crocodiles, lakes of fire, and other terrors. The soul arrives at The Hall of Judgement in movement 3. Standing before forty-two divine judges, the soul addresses each by name and gives a “negative confession” connected to each judge (i.e. “I did not rob,” “I did not do violence,” and so on). Afterwards, the soul’s heart is put on a scale to be weighed against a feather of Ma’at, the goddess of truth. If the heart weighs more than the feather, it will be eaten by Ammut, a hideous creature that lies in wait below the scale, and the soul will die a second and permanent death (this was the worst fear of the Egyptians). But if the heart is in balance with the feather, the soul proceeds onward. The final stage of the journey is the arrival at The Field of Reeds (movement 4), which is a perfect mirror image of the soul’s life in ancient Egypt. The soul reunites with deceased family members, makes sacrifices to the Egyptian gods and goddess, harvests crops from plentiful fields of wheat under a brilliant blue sky, and lives forever next to the abundant and nourishing waters of the Nile.

    Rites for the Afterlife was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment on behalf of the Akropolis Reed Quintet, Calefax Reed Quintet, and the Brigham Young University Reed Quintet.

    -S.G.

Sextets

  • BOHEMIAN CAFE • 8’ • fl, ob, cl, hn, bn (or vc), db

    VIDEO
    Fifth House Ensemble

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2015

    DEDICATION
    To Cedille Records in celebration of its 25th Anniversary

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
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    PROGRAM NOTES
    When James Ginsburg, president of Cedille Records, asked me for a piece in celebration of the label’s 25th anniversary, he suggested an intriguing instrumentation: a woodwind quintet with the addition of a double bass. Jim has been in Prague multiple times over the years, where street musicians (or “buskers”) are plentiful around the city. I personally have never been there, so I went online to see if there was footage of Prague’s buskers. I discovered a wealth of videos featuring musicians of all types – one-man bands, blues and jazz groups, classically trained string players, bagpipers, folk singers, Dixie bands, and even a very talented water goblet performer. As it turns out, Prague has a long and very rich culture of busking. I can see why Jim is enthralled with Prague!

    In my piece, I employ the musicians in various groupings to portray different styles of music. I named the piece Bohemian Café, for when I hear it, I picture myself sitting at an outdoor café in a plaza in Prague, drinking coffee, watching street musicians set up around the plaza, and listening to assorted strands of music wafting through the air.
    -S.G.
  • CHIAROSCURO • 6’45” • fl, ob, vln, vla, vc, pno
    The Rembrandt Chamber Musicians have exclusive performance and recording rights until 7/1/21.

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2019

    COMMISSIONER
    Rembrandt Chamber Musicians in celebration of their 30th Anniversary.

    PROGRAM NOTES
    In celebration of the Rembrandt Chamber Musicians’ 30th Anniversary season, the ensemble commissioned me to write a celebratory concert opener. In the piece, I delve into chiaroscuro, a favorite painting technique of the ensemble’s namesake. Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) produced highly dramatic paintings using this technique, which provided him with a means of giving his paintings the impression of depth by strategically placing a ray of light on his subjects, leaving the rest of the picture in shadow or darkness. In Chiaroscuro, the musicians will emerge from darkness to joyously dance in beams of light.
  • POSTCARDS FROM WYOMING • 14’ • fl, cl, vln, vc, pno, perc
    I. High Plains Prairie
    II. Call of the Wild
    III. The Solitude of Stars

    AUDIO
    Sinfonia Salt Lake at the Utah Arts Festival; Robert Baldwin, conductor

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2017

    COMMISSIONER
    Utah Arts Festival

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
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    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_postcards_from_wyoming_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES
    In 2014, I enjoyed a wonderful residence at the Ucross Foundation in Clearmont, Wyoming. Ucross is an artist colony that gives writers, composers, and visual artists the gift of time, space, and support to follow their artistic pursuits; we are provided with studio space, housing, and meals so that we can work almost continuously on our projects. I have been in residence at numerous artist colonies; however, nothing in my previous experiences prepared me for living in such isolated, wild country. Ucross is situated on a 20,000-acre cattle ranch at nearly 4,000 feet in elevation with fewer than 150 people living within the town. But what Clearmont lacks in population, it makes up for abundantly and spectacularly in wilderness and wildlife.

    Postcards from Wyoming presents three glimpses of what I found to be the most striking aspects of my residence. The first movement, High Plains Prairie, represents the conundrum that is a high elevation landscape: from afar, the eye sees little else than an unending and threadbare horizon. But as one inspects the land up close, the prairie bursts with color provided by sagebrush, grasses, insects, and creeks. The second movement, Call of the Wild, is a tribute to the wide range of animals that reside in the area. Deer, turkeys, and rabbits frequently passed outside of my studio window; cows and sheep lived in fields close by. Snakes, raccoons, and field mice also made guest appearances. While I’m thankful that I didn’t see any predators (such as wolves), I became increasingly aware of the wildness of the animal population that surrounded my studio. The Solitude of Stars, the third and final movement, was inspired by the stunning nightly display of the heavens above. Without city lights dimming the night sky, countless stars shone brightly over the vast expanse of the prairie.

    -S.G.

    Stacks Image 9030
    Images taken by the composer during her residence at the Ucross Foundation in Clearmont, Wyoming.

7+

  • AND ALL TIME • 13’ • fl, ob, cl, hn, bn, pno, vln, vla, vc, db, narrator (or tape)

    VIDEO
    Arizona State University student musicians; Jason Caslor, conductor

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2016

    COMMISSIONER
    Fromm Music Foundation

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
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    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_and_all_time_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES
    I devised the idea of a piece on time when I found several texts all dealing with time from various points-of-view. These four poems work very well together: Edgar Allan Poe's The Bells addresses the delight of the universe spinning in rhythmical time; Henry van Dyke's Time Is comments on how we experience the slow or swift passage of time based on various states of emotion; John Milton's On Time accuses time of being greedy, stealing time from man’s lives; and Walt Whitman's Poem of Joys celebrates the joy of time, both now and always, as well as throughout the universe. I arranged these four texts in this specific order to craft a narrative that moves through delight, sadness, anger, and finally joy. I carry out the idea of time through the tempo of the works - all but one tempo indication are derived from a musical beat lasting one second (i.e. the speed of the quarter note is sixty beats per minute). The performers double as the narrators of the poems throughout the piece.
    -S.G.

    TEXTS

    All texts are in public domain worldwide.

    I. Keeping Time, Time, Time
    Edgar Allan Poe
    While the stars that oversprinkle
    All the heavens, seem to twinkle
    With a crystalline delight;
    Keeping time, time, time,
    in a sort of Runic rhyme,
    To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
    From the bells, bells, bells,

    II. Time Is
    Henry van Dyke
    Time is 
    Too Slow for those who Wait,
    Too Swift for those who Fear,
    Too Long for those who Grieve,
    Too Short for those who Rejoice;
    But for those who Love,
    Time is not. 




    III. Fly Envious Time!
    John Milton
    Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
    Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
    Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;
    And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,
    Which is no more then what is false and vain,
    And merely mortal dross;
    So little is our loss,
    So little is thy gain.

    IV. And All Time
    Walt Whitman
    O the joy of my spirit--it is uncaged--it darts like lightning!
    It is not enough to have this globe or a certain time,
    I will have thousands of globes and all time.
  • FRAMMENTI • 11’ • fl, ob, cl, vln, vla, vc, db, pno
    Primo
    Terzo
    Secondo
    Quarto
    Quinto

    AUDIO
    Fifth House Ensemble

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2010

    COMMISSIONER
    Rembrandt Chamber Players, the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, Peggy Pearson, Richard Nunemaker, Robert Spring, and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society of Wisconsin, Inc., Stephanie Jutt and Jeffrey Sykes, Artistic Directors

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
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    ONLINE PERUSAL
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/frammenti_full_score__make_11x14_

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Frammenti (Italian for “fragments”) is a set of five miniatures in which each movement is based on one or more musical fragments. In Primo, the woodwinds repeatedly call the rest of the ensemble to join them in their musical celebration. Secondo starts with the entire ensemble playing the same note; the ensemble makes short work of stretching and expanding the note into the extreme high and low registers. Terzo offers a brief repose from the frenetic activity of the previous movements with a slow, haunting melody. In Quarto, the entire ensemble unleashes a maelstrom of fury; they traverse a variety of musical fragments as they storm their way through the movement. The piece concludes with Quinto, in which the ensemble decisively draws the piece to a hushed finale.

    Frammenti was commissioned by the Rembrandt Chamber Players, the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, Peggy Person, Richard Nunemaker, Robert Spring, and Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society of Wisconsin, Inc., Stephanie Jutt and Jeffrey Sykes, Artistic Directors.
    -S.G.