Strings

Ook Pik Waltz – Arrangement for Violin, Cello and Guitar

An arrangement for Violin, Cello, and Guitar of a fiddle melody by Canadian Frankie Rodgers. (2008) ca. 4″

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Live performance by Uncle Joe members Iveta Dejus, violin, Ursula Jurjana, cello, and Charles Griffin, guitar, live at the University of Liepaja in Liepaja, Latvia. This was part of Akti Nakti, an evening of performances by several groups throughout the city of Liepaja.

Fischiettando – Arrangement for Piccolo, Violin, Cello, and Tambourine (optional)

An arrangement for Piccolo, Violin, Cello, and optional Tambourine of a traditional Sicilian melody. (2008) ca. 1’30”

Purchase a PDF of the score and parts for $5 per copy via PayPal:















Live performance by Uncle Joe members Liene Denisjuka, piccolo, Iveta Dejus, violin, Ursula Jurjana, cello, and Charles Griffin, tambourine, live at the University of Liepaja in Liepaja, Latvia. This was part of Akti Nakti, an evening of performances by several groups throughout the city of Liepaja.

Nightsongs (Clarinet Quintet – Clar. & String Quartet)

Clarinet and String Quartet (2007), One Movement, 11’
Premiered by The Griffin Ensemble at Liepāja Symphony Concert Hall, May 2007.

Nightsongs     

Program Note:

This piece was originally a setting for baritone and string quartet of five short poems by the American poet, Langston Hughes, in one continuous movement. The majority of the piece is based on various transformations of a three-note, bluesy figure. I rearranged and also revised the set in late 2006 in preparation for a five-concert tour in Latvia with my ensemble in May and June 2007. Here are the original poems, in the order of their original appearance:

Night: Four Songs
Night of the two moons
And the seventeen stars,
Night of the day before yesterday
And the day after tomorrow,
Night of the four songs unsung:
Sorrow! Sorrow!
Sorrow! Sorrow!

Border Line
I used to wonder
About living and dying –
I think the difference lies
Between tears and crying.

I used to wonder
About here and there –
I think the distance
Is nowhere.

Drum
Bear in mind
That death is a drum
Beating forever
Till the last worms come
To answer its call,
Till the last stars fall,
Until the last atom
Is no atom at all,
Until time is lost
And there is no air
And space itself
Is nothing nowhere,
Death is a drum
A signal drum,
Calling life
To come!
Come!
Come!

Suicide’s Note
The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.

End
There are
No clocks on the wall,
And no time,
No shadows that move
From dawn to dusk
Across the floor.

There is neither light
Nor dark
Outside the door.

There is no door!

Set Fire to Have Light (String Quartet)

String Quartet (2004) ca. 10+’

Originally written as a quintet, this was premiered by the Barbad Chamber Orchestra, Ramin Heydarbeygi, director. It was also performed by string orchestra before I rearranged it for quartet in 2006.

Here’s a video with Baiba Lasmane, Ginta Alžane (violins), Tatjana Borovika (Viola) and Dina Puķite (Cello), from their performance with my ensemble at Rigas Jaunais Teatris on June 18, 2007 in Riga, Latvia:

Program Note:

The title is taken from a poem by Rumi, the implication being that in order to have enlightement one must be on fire about it; one must be passionate. This is the necessary state to be in if you want to communicate the nature of the music to a listener. The piece employs Arabic rhythmic (iqa’at) and scalar (maqamat) modes. I wasn’t trying to write an overtly Arabic piece, but rather to see what I could derive from an exploration of these specific materials.

for the straight way was lost

Viola or Cello with Clarinet or Bass Clarinet or Alto Saxophone, 1 movement, (2002) ca. 8’
Commissioned and premiered by the Darkwood Consort, Boise, Idaho.

Here’s a video with Natalie Grata, clarinet and Chris Erickson, cello, performed live at the Timucua White House in Orlando:

Program Note:

For the straight way was lost was commissioned and premiered by The Darkwood Consort in Boise, Idaho. The title became unintentionally more and more appropriate over time, as the work has undergone multiple revisions and tweakings and experiments. The title comes from a passage in Dante’s The Divine Comedy, and I chose it because, first, it includes the name of the ensemble that commissioned it from me, but second, it also seems a good description of how the compositional process sometimes goes; sometimes a piece takes unexpected turns (almost of its own volition) that then must be dealt with:

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi retrovai per una selva oscura,
che la diritta via era smarrita.

In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself in a dark wood,
for the straight way was lost.

-Dante, from The Divine Comedy

How Do I Love Thee? (High Voice, Clarinet or Violin & Piano)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, text.
High Voice, Clarinet or Violin & Piano. (2000) 4’30”

A co-commission and premiere by The Lark Ascending, Nancy Bogen, director, and the Lyric Arts Trio.

Listen to a performance by Marcelle Duarte (Soprano), Dennis Jospeh (Clarinet) & Lin Lee (Piano):

How Do I Love Thee?     

SONNET #43, FROM THE PORTUGUESE
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)