This was a piece that was originally written for the Okemah High School Band in 2012, but it has gone through a number of revisions since then. This particular recording includes strings and choir, and this was really intended as a way for me to experiment with EastWest's Hollywood Choir. The project was time consuming, but it was worthwhile as an educational experience.
"Novus Dies" is a piece of music that was composed in order to alleviate some of the anxiety resulting from all that has happened over the past few months. May this bring some peace to listeners as we all work through the stress associated with the events of 2020. “Novus Dies” is Latin and translates into English as “The New Day” or "A New Day."
The Monkey's Paw (film music)
"The Monkey's Paw" is a short film directed by Taylor Drake. The movie is based on the story by W. W. Jacobs. The story follows Mr. and Mrs. White as they struggle with the loss of their child, Freddie. They eventually use a monkey's paw to bring their son back to life, but the price they pay is both tragic and terrifying. (The entire playlist is on YouTube.)
The Man in the Bowler Hat (film music)
"The Man in the Bowler Hat" is a short film directed by Taylor Drake. It is based on the comedic play by the same name. The movie tells the story of John and Mary, a British couple living a fairly ordinary life until the man in a bowler hat enters their home. (The entire playlist is on YouTube.)
Reading by Rutgers University Orchestra
Dedicated to the Victims of Winter
Willie Mae White died on January 21, 2014. She froze to death at a bus station in Joliet, Illinois. She frequently stayed at that bus station, because she was homeless. White’s name was known. However, The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that 700 people like White die from exposure each year. Sadly, many of these people’s identities are unknown.
Although we live in one of the most technologically developed countries in the world, we still have people freezing to death on our streets. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that this problem continues each year and is mostly ignored by the public. It receives little or no media coverage, and our society as a whole chooses to look the other way.
Homeless individuals have lives like anyone else. They love. They laugh. They hurt. They cry. There has to be a remedy. I wrote White in order to bring attention to an issue that deserves our focus. It is dedicated to the victims of winter.
The Dream Is a Question
Live performance by Ekmeles (Mary Mackenzie, soprano; Rachel Calloway, mezzo soprano; Patrick Fennig, countertenor; Eric Dudley, tenor; Jeffrey Gavett, baritone; Avery Griffin, baritone)
String Quartet No. 1
In Memory of Steven Blake McLemore
1st Movement (excerpt)
2nd Movement (excerpt)
Saxophone Quartet No. 1
Live performance by Autumn Flowers, soprano saxophone; Rachel Gaffner, alto saxophone; Michael Cudd, tenor saxophone; and Eric Walshup, baritone saxophone
Live performance by Nate McClure, Richard Shafer, Beth Braddock, Ben Conrady, and Jason Clemons on piano
Pandora’s Box is a programmatic work depicting the story from Greek Mythology. In this mythological story Pandora, the first woman on Earth, is given a jar (later mistranslated as “box”) which she is told not to open. The “box” is filled with what will become the evil of the world. Eventually, curiosity entices her to do what is forbidden, and as soon as she removes the lid, its contents begin to escape. She quickly closes the jar. Unfortunately, it is too late, and hope is all that is left within Pandora’s “Box.”
Live performance by Steven Land, Michael Cudd, and Thomas J. Cortes on didgeridoo
Live performance by Robert Miller, John Brandt, Kimberly Macemon Densmore, Steven Land)