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Today Is Tomorrow is a vocal work composed for the 2020 NEO Festival in Los Angeles as part of the Exploratorio’s “New Morality Play.” It features soloist, Eli Bermann and a tenor/bass choir.
Santa Monica is the first movement in a broader piece called Los Angeles inspired by the composer’s time living in the city. It’s an ironic love letter to the city of Santa Monica in the style of something off the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. The cyclical motion of waves on the beach and the famous Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier are juxtaposed against the relentless upward surge of rent prices in the area.
The Barbara Allen String Quartet was inspired by Howard Richardson and William Berney’s 1942 stage play Dark of the Moon, which, itself, is based on the old Scottish ballad, “Barbara Allen” (circa 1600). This programmatic music unfolds in three movements; expressing Thomas Allen’s ascent of the Appalachian mountain to pray for a child, his murder 16 years later committed by his daughter Barbara Allen, who was conceived through a pact with the devil, and her subsequent seduction of the town reverend through confession of her act.
Ego is a theatrical work exploring musicians’ virtuosity, how it is often linked to the self-worth of the performer, and when it falls on its face. This piece, the finale, represents a sacrifice of individual virtuosity for the betterment of group expression.