From the recording Nor'easter (5:48)
Nor'easter owes much to the atmosphere captured by Gustav Holst in Mars (The Planets). I began the composition of this piece not with the specific image of a storm in mind, but with the express intent of portraying an ominous mood. The pervasive rhythmic figures and forceful brass are tools to this end. Writing music with a deliberately angry character forced me away from my inherent tendency toward a quieter, introspective emotion. I enjoyed harnessing the dynamic power of the orchestra, unleashing the brass section, and allowing some rhythmic irregularity and dissonance in the chords of the orchestral tutti toward the end of the movement.