I consider myself a latecomer to the musical profession, having developed my compositional practices in parallel with medical education, residency training and work as a physician. I was introduced to classical music at a young age and my interest in composition grew during my college years at Duke University. My original works during undergraduate and postgraduate professional education began with compositions for solo piano and soon expanded to include the genres of contemporary jazz and electronic music. In the ensuing years, I have increasingly focused on the classical genre and on traditional orchestral instrumentation, ranging from solo piano through small ensemble to symphony orchestra. My compositional voice in orchestral works reveals my fondness for the Romantic, Post-Romantic and Neoclassical styles of the late 19th and early 20th century. I am pleased to announce the release of my first classical genre CD featuring a full length orchestral suite, Pamlico Sound Sketches, in October 2010.
Ever since my days writing and performing predominantly electronic contemporary jazz during medical school, the compositions of my own that still sound the most satisfying to me are the orchestral arrangements. In my earlier efforts, these usually began as generally self-sufficient piano improvisations, to which I added other instrument groups as a means of further harmonic extension and tone color development. For the past several years, however, I have been composing music specifically intended for orchestra without the intermediary step of a solo piano framework on which to construct the arrangement. The powerful virtual instrument orchestral sample libraries currently available for use in personal computer based digital audio workstations make this practical for me, as I compose predominantly by ear. The range of instrument articulations that sample libraries incorporate provide a degree of expressiveness, nuance and human variation that effectively suggests live players, and the addition of reverb to simulate a concert hall or scoring stage ambience lends surprising realism to these digitally realized performances. Such digital techniques are an unequal substitute for the skilled musicianship of live players, and naturally I would prefer interpretation by a live orchestra.
I compose across a variety of musical genres, and I relish them all -- the infinitely variable dynamic and timbral spectrum of a symphony orchestra, the delicacy and expressiveness of a string quartet, the dialogue of a traditional jazz ensemble, the intimacy of a solo piano and the rhythmic energy of an upbeat contemporary jazz track.
Lately, I have been working on projects that weave music into the narration of classic literature, including short stories by Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) and Edgar Allen Poe (The Tell-Tale Heart).
I am also developing new works for piano and symphony orchestra, string quartet, a acoustic piano and jazz ensemble, and working on a collection of contemporary jazz tracks with a more "electronic" edge.