New Single: “Whirlygig”

The first single off the sequel to Electrical Gremlin is now available!

“Whirlygig” is slated to be the opening track on the new album (as of yet untitled . . . perhaps Electrical Gremlin Vol. 2: Electric Boogaloo?) and is a dizzyingly moody, mathy romp with percolating synths, an angular, stabby bass line, and brooding viola over a skittering beat.

It’s now streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and others, and can also be purchased via Bandcamp and iTunes (among others).

You can take a listen right here:

And, of course, Electrical Gremlin remains available for purchase (both on CD and lossless digital on Bandcamp) and on streaming.  I hope you all enjoy this new track, and stay tuned for more new sounds!



Electrical Gremlin CDs Have Arrived!

The first batch of the CD edition of Electrical Gremlin has now arrived, and can now be ordered on my Bandcamp page, for $10 plus shipping.  Many, many thanks to Atomic Disc, just down the road in Salem, Oregon, for doing such a fantastic job on these.

The CD edition features a snazzy LP-style protective sleeve, a small booklet, some heptatonic manifolds (which do indeed relate to the modal structures used on the album), and gremlin’s face even makes an appearance on the disc itself.  Here’s a few images:

Front of Electrical Gremlin CD edition. Inner view of Electrical Gremlin CD edition, showing the gremlin's face on the disc. A box full of Electrical Gremlin CDs, ready to go.


Electrical Gremlin Has Been Released

My new album, Electrical Gremlin, has officially been released today.  You can purchase the digital edition over on Bandcamp for just $7.  And since today, April 7th, happens to be Bandcamp Friday, Bandcamp will be waiving their revenue share from purchases, making this an excellent day to buy Electrical Gremlin, and lots of other interesting music there from independent artists.

Electrical Gremlin Cover

For those who are wondering if there will be CDs, the answer is yes.  I have an initial small run of CDs on the way, which will be available for purchase on my Bandcamp page once they’re available–just $10 plus shipping.  The current estimated arrival time of when I will receive the discs is the middle of next week.  The packaging is quite entertaining . . .

Electrical Gremlin CD Edition Mockup Image

Mockup image of the CD edition of Electrical Gremlin . . . and yes, the gremlin’s face will be on the disc!

If you’re the streaming type, Electrical Gremlin is now live on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube, and a number of other services . . . and if you’d like a taste now, here’s the third track, “Poltergeist Activity”, straight from YouTube.

I hope you all enjoy the new album, and thanks for your support!




New Album, Electrical Gremlin, Releasing April 7th, 2023

This coming Friday—April 7th—I will be releasing a new album of music, entitled Electrical Gremlin.  The new album is up on my Bandcamp page, where you can also preview (and buy with pre-order) the third track on the album, “Poltergeist Activity”.  (And yes, I did the cover art myself.)  If you buy on release day, it happens to be a Bandcamp Friday, during which Bandcamp waives their fees.

It will also be up on the streaming services, too–here is a pre-save page for Electrical Gremlin on Spotify.

Electrical Gremlin is, in some ways, a major departure for me—in fact, I’d probably class it as my own personal Kid A. Suffice to say, it is a wild ride–eight tracks of instrumental music for strings and electronics, ranging from Neu!-style krautrock, to quasi-ambient synth-hymns, to modal viola freakouts, to Rihanna-meets-Larks’ Tongues-era King Crimson absurdity.  And there’s a cello tuned down a fifth.  (Also, for those of you who follow my theoretical heresy, aside from a brief incursion on the fourth track, “Sapphire Requiem”, there’s not any Locrian Liberation going on–but there’s plenty of Corinthian, Leucadian, Thasian, and Cyrenean to go around, among others.)

The music on Electrical Gremlin is a type I’ve wanted to make for a very long while—at least since discovering the aforementioned Kid A and Larks’ Tongues in Aspic back in 2006, and even moreso after Beak> burst onto the scene.  The impetus for finally going for it came after a lot of reflection in the wake of what has been a long and especially trying period of time—I went through some rather rough personal stuff right before the pandemic lockdowns happened in March 2020, which made an already bad time much, much worse.

Despite being flooded with the sensation of (as Darius Milhaud once put it) “a thousand simultaneous musics rushing towards me from all directions”, and filling my manuscript book with all kinds of sketches in the time since, while also making considerable progress on the theoretical end, my tried-and-true way of creating music felt increasingly counterproductive.  In fact, I haven’t completed a “piece” in the classical-academic sense in almost four years—Cyan Egg Music, Op. 59 remains my most recent.

It’s not the first time I had felt that—indeed, I went through a similar sort of ennui in the early-middle period of my doctoral program, though this was more intense.  However, in this case, rather than waiting and wading around in the mire, hoping I get an excuse to write Gray Egg Music again (the piece that let me climb out of it the last time), I decided to finally and truly embrace the leftfield “popular music” (if you can really call it that) weirdo that had been percolating under the surface for over a decade-and-a-half.

Very little on Electrical Gremlin was notated out beforehand, aside from little sketches.  Instead, the process for making this new music was based more on a feedback loop of improvising, recording, and adjusting, working primarily out of Pro Tools.  The immediacy of this approach has felt very, very refreshing, and  effective at clearing that creative logjam that had been stymieing me for the past three years.  In fact, I’m already working on a sequel—an “Electrical Gremlin Boogaloo”, if you will.

Electrical Gremlin will be available in just a few more days, and I hope you all check it out and enjoy it, in all its weirdness.  Here’s the full tracklisting:

  1. Evergreen Parkway (10:15)
  2. Viridescence (4:50)
  3. Poltergeist Activity (3:48)
  4. Sapphire Requiem (5:40)
  5. Electrical Gremlin (4:24)
  6. Gilgamesh (5:43)
  7. 424242424 (5:39)
  8. Kyrene Road (8:12)



I (Almost) Have A Book: Introducing A Unified Theory of Heptatonic Modal Harmony

Those of you who know me and/or have closely followed my work know that one of my big projects I’ve wanted to do is to write a book on my modally-based harmonic system, which I’ve been developing since diving head first into the modal realm way back in 2002–back when I was a mere teenager (albeit one who was nearly done with a bachelor’s degree).  I’ve had a number of attempts at it over the years, but back in August 2020, amidst the trying times of the height of the pandemic, I made another attempt at it, with a bit of a different approach to structuring it.  The combination of that new approach, and the fact that I’ve been able to truly develop the system in the past few years, has allowed me to reach the point where, at long last, I finally have a rough draft of the whole thing, running a bit shy of 300 pages in its current formatting.

The current title is A Unified Theory of Heptatonic Modality. The book covers the various types of heptatonic modes (all possible within 12-tone equal-temperament) and some of their interesting properties (particularly from an expressive standpoint), before diving into aspects of establishing the modes in a musical setting, exploring the possible chord types, ways to assemble those chords into progressions that are analogous to functional tonality, in addition to getting into modulation and polymodal complexes.

I am, at this point, still evaluating my next steps, including publication options.  But it feels nice (and very surreal!) to finally be nearing the point of having a comprehensive statement of this harmonic system, which has been a passion of mine for two decades, and I am looking forward to finally being able to let you all get your hands on it at some point in the near future.  In the meanwhile, below a preview of a few select pages from the current iteration of the book for you to peruse.  Stay tuned here for more updates on the book, and thank you all for your continued support and interest.



Store Now Open

At long last, I have finally opened up a store page on the site, from which my sheet music can be purchased directly.  At this moment, there’s only a couple items for sale–my Piano Works Vol. 1 collection, and the solo version of the Modal Tangos, Op. 57a–but the repertoire of items for sale will gradually expand in the coming weeks.  Presently, everything for sale is simply in digital (PDF) form, but I hope to offer physical copies through the store at some point in the not-too-distant future as well.


Upcoming (Virtual) Performances for April 2021, and “Threnody for Strings” Recording

After a period of relative quiet here, due to the pandemic, things are starting to pick up again in terms of performances (still virtual), recordings, and other activity here.

First things first, my most recently-completed piece, Cyan Egg Music, Op. 59 for flute, alto sax, and horn, will be presented by the most excellent and mostly-Seattle-based wind trio Onomatopoeia (Cassie Lear, flute; Soren Hamm, alto sax; Rebecca Olason, horn) as part of the virtually-based 2021 NASA Region 1 Conference.  (For those wondering, the NASA in this case is not the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, but instead, the North American Saxophone Alliance. )

Onomatopoeia will be appearing on the streaming session on Sunday, April 11th, starting at 11:45am PDT (UTC -7:00), which will also feature a number of other great performers (including my good friend and fellow UO SOMD alum Sean Fredenberg), and pieces by Dwayne Corbin (another Oregon composer and fellow CWU alum, who directs the excellent Tilikum Chamber Orchestra), Kakia Gkoudina, Elise Winkler, Shane Valle, and Gregory Youtz.  The stream will be taking place via Zoom, and while the link has not been posted yet, I will update here (and the “Upcoming Events” sidebar) once it becomes available.

A week after that, on Sunday, April 18th at 5:00pm PDT (UTC -7:00), my Piano Trio No. 1 in G Dardanian, Op. 54, will be performed by Hae-Jin Kim, violin, Heather Blackburn, cello, and Sequoia, piano, as part of the NACUSA 2021 Virtual New Music Festival, which is being hosted by the Pacific Northwest NACUSA chapter, Cascadia Composers.  It will be streamed via the Cascadia Composers YouTube channel–a more direct link will be provided once available.

Other composers featured on the April 18th program include William Toutant, Lisa Neher, Adam Eason (who gave a talk on his personal experiences utilizing my modal catalog back in January), Andrew Lewinter, John G. Bilotta, Michael Johanson, Liz Nedela, Gary Noland, and Lesley Sommer.

The festival as a whole will feature Saturday and Sunday evening streamed events over three weeks–more information can be found here.

Finally, my efforts with DIY recordings of my works for strings have continued, and I have a massively multi-tracked (44 times on this one!) realization of an older string orchestra work of mine, the Threnody for Strings, Op. 16.  I wrote this piece way back as a 19-year-old master’s student in 2004, and while the piece is old enough to get a driver’s license, it’s one I’ve wanted to record for awhile now, and seemed to be a strangely fitting and cathartic choice in the wake of recent events.  It’s a surprisingly simple but very intense–and very thick–piece. (Imagine Arvo Pärt’s Fratres and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring having a child together, and you should have some idea of what to expect!)  You can take a listen below:

Threnody for Strings, Op. 16 (2004)


I’ll also note, following the NASA virtual event, I’ll be headed to my long-awaited appointment for my first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.  Here’s to hoping that we’ll get to the point at which it is once again safe to have in-person live concerts in the near future.



Interview on No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog

Awhile back, my dear friend Rhonda Rizzo, who runs the piano blog No Dead Guys (and has also played a number of my works over the years) interviewed me for a feature on the site–which is now online, and can be read here.

I had a blast answering Rhonda’s questions, and I get into some detail about what makes my music tick on harmonic, rhythmic, and emotional levels, as well as my thoughts about reaching new audiences. And you might even learn something about Neil Bartlett’s work with xenon compounds (of all things)!


Watch the Cyan Egg Music Online Premiere by Onomatopoeia

Earlier this year, after the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out everyone’s performance calendar, the (mostly) Seattle-based wind trio Onomatopoeia (Cassie Lear, flute; Soren Hamm, saxophones; Rebecca Olason, horn) released an “online premiere” of my Cyan Egg Music, Op. 59 (2019), on their Facebook page and on YouTube–the latter of which has been embedded below for your viewing pleasure. The piece is divided into five distinct movements, which are listed below as well. As is the case with all of their performances, they knocked this one out of the park–hope you enjoy!


Cyan Egg Music, Op. 59 (2019)


I-Dream-like, but uneasy (in the Phocian mode)

II-Strangely pastoral, languid (in the Taurian mode)

III-Twitchy, stilted (in the Dardanian mode)

IV-Nasal, dirge-like (in the Locrian mode)

V-Insistently, driving (in the Phocian mode)

Cyan Egg Music “Virtual World Premiere”, 4/4 at 5pm Pacific Time

As I suspect all readers know at this point, the COVID-19 situation has pretty much shut down all concerts for an extended period of time–something which has been quite difficult on all of us in the music world, beyond the already difficult task of dealing with a global pandemic.

Fortunately, my dear friends in Onomatopoeia (Cassie Lear, flute; Soren Hamm, saxophones; Rebecca Olason, horn) are going to be offering up a “virtual” world premiere of my Cyan Egg Music, Op. 59, via their Facebook page.   The premiere will be going live tonight, Saturday, April 4th, at 5pm Pacific Time.

Onomatopoeia also has a Ko-fi donation page up right now, in case you’d like to show your support for this and their other recent streaming/online performance efforts, which have been a very welcome respite from the current state of affairs in the world.

I hope you will all check it out and that you enjoy the performance–I can’t say enough about how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to have this phenomenal group playing my latest efforts.  I’ll also be posting again soon with more about Cyan Egg Music, particularly some of the harmonic technique that powers it.