Category Archives: Art Music

#5 (piano miniature)

In 2019, I started a series called Piano Miniatures. I had planned to write 14 short pieces, each with a corresponding meter (i.e. #7 would be in 7/8 time). I finished four of them, and ever since, a lonely sketch … Continue reading

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Psalm 65: We Praise You, God, in Silence and Singing

I was honored that Bethany Cok and Josh Parks asked me to compose music for their wedding. I’ve played with Josh many times before at Church of the Servant, Calvin University, and in the St. Sinner Orchestra, so it felt … Continue reading

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Proof of Concept

I’ve been a fan of M.C. Escher for a long time. One of the things that fascinates me about his art is how he meticulously worked out his tesselations on graph paper before incorporating them into a finished print. These … Continue reading

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Binsey Poplars at Baylor University

I was privileged to receive a commission from Baylor University to compose a piece on the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, “Binsey Poplars.” The poem is an ode to Hopkins’ once-favorite, now-felled trees, but it is also a meditation on the … Continue reading

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25, for orchestra (World Premiere)

This spring, I had the great good fortune to compose a new piece for the Calvin Community Symphony’s 25th-anniversary concert. Below are the program notes: It may seem obvious—even unimaginative—to name a piece commissioned for a 25th anniversary concert “25.” What … Continue reading

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#4 (piano miniature)

In the past few years, I’ve played through almost all of Scott Joplin’s piano music. His music is intelligent, full of life, and simply fun. I wish I was more of a pianist, because I really don’t do his compositions … Continue reading

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#3 (piano miniature)

This third piano miniature is–not surprisingly–in 3/4 time. It reminds me a bit of Erik Satie’s whimsical compositions. While the meter is the “straight man,” remaining in an elegant waltz tempo, the harmonies never seem to land quite where you … Continue reading

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#2 (piano miniatures)

I was telling my son tonight that I feel like I’m working out my harmonic demons. Perhaps “demons” is too strong, but I do feel that I’ve been exploring a particular harmonic palette in depth lately. It’s not clear to … Continue reading

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#1 (piano miniatures)

I often take part in FAWM–February Album Writing Month–as a way of keeping the creative juices flowing. The FAWM challenge is to write 14 songs in 28 days. This year I plan to compose 14 “piano miniatures.” (I’ll think of … Continue reading

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Blessed Be!

Update 9/16/20: Sheet music for this song can now be downloaded here. It’s hard to believe that this piece is 23 years old! This setting of the song of Zechariah (Luke 1:67-79) was written when I lived in Pittsburgh and … Continue reading

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