Inspired by the fugue at the end of Benjamin Britten's A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Scherzo à la Britten is a virtuosic showpiece for wind ensemble. The Herald Times called it "a mighty ear-stunner ... exhilarating to experience."
The Builder opens with a simple rhythm in the woodwinds. This 'building' motive gradually intensifies and a lyrical trumpet solo emerges with the beginnings of a melody. The infant melody is molded by hammer swings from the percussion and the woodwinds' constant chiseling. After a number of metric modulations and rhythmic transformations, the building rhythm soon reaches a fever pitch and is funneled into one final hammer swing, with the whole ensemble in unison.
Some climbing plants have a remarkable way of hoisting themselves up towards the sun using Coiling Tendrils. This virtuosic saxophone quartet depicts a plant’s journey upward from the ground into full sunlight.
Infamous for its many rules, species counterpoint applies restrictions on both the horizontal and vertical dimensions of music. The result is a kind of musical sudoku puzzle in which every decision resonates out in multiple directions. Variations in the Reeds takes a species counterpoint theme and puts it through a different rhythmic prism in each movement.
They Might Be Gods is a kind of lucid dream for saxophone quartet. Exciting, sarcastic, and a bit profane, this virtuosic piece tumbles through a strange landscape with blurry edges and unexpected apparitions.
Itzpapalotl, the Obsidian Butterfly, was an Aztec warrior goddess. In the beginning, the new goddess slowly emerges from a stone cocoon. After taking flight as a black butterfly, she transforms into a grotesque figure with a skeletal head and wings tipped with stone blades. Itzpapalotl changes between these two forms several times in the piece as the same melodic material is transformed from lyrical to fierce and dance-like.
Almost Out of the Sky is a programmatic piece for soprano saxophone and piano inspired by excerpts from Pablo Neruda's poem of the same name.
From the beginning of For Whom the Bell Tolls, a simple and elegant repeating figure sounds in the pianos. As the placid long tones of the clarinet and strings begin to form a melody, the piano motive sounds with ever-increasing urgency. The pianos eventually evolve into a pseudo-carillon, rich with clanging overtones.
The Hand of Day is a three minute minimalist piece for piano on the shortest of poems by Octavio Paz: "The hand of day opens / Three clouds / And these few words."