of our transgressions

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of our transgressions

fl, ob, cl (b-flat, bass), sax (alto, bari), hn, 2 perc, hp, pno, 2 vlns, vla, vc

Duration: 14'


Commissioned by the Center for Contemporary Composition at the University of Chicago

Written for the Grossman Ensemble

Premiere Dec. 2, 2022, Chicago

Of our transgressions is a reflection on allowing oneself to breach self-imposed internal boundaries – to examine thoughts, memories, and pieces of self previously forbidden – and all that follows, internally and externally, from those mental acts.

Technically, the piece expands upon a compositional approach I developed several years ago, in which the pitches of “underlying” triads and seventh chords are expanded spectrally, with corresponding expansions and contractions in harmonic rhythm. This piece pushes elements of that approach into new territory, while completely abandoning others in both systematic and impulsive ways. My own interpretations of what my pieces are about often mirror (or come to my awareness through) the process of their composition. This piece both honors and transgresses a way of making music that I have known for a long time, making holes in its dams and singing as water flows through them.