Commission and OAC Grant for “Djed”

I am honoured to have received a Music Creation Grant from the Ontario Arts Council for the composition of Djed, a forthcoming work for solo marimba and percussion trio.  The work is being written for Gerald Noble (Dayton Philharmonic/Wright State University).

Djed is the ancient Egyptian symbol of a pillar meaning ‘stability.’  This is represented in the piece with structural pedal tones in the solo part being resonated by instruments in the percussion trio.

The djed is also a prominently featured sculptural symbol in Matthew Barney’s Ancient Evenings performances and film, River of Fundament. My experiences performing in these projects serve as an inspiration as I continue writing the music.  I look forward to sharing the completed score for Djed in the near future!


Petal for Piano

I wrote a short piano piece in December as a “Secret Santa” gift.  It’s called Petal, a short mood piece that draws upon core material from a Benny Golson tune.  I’ve included the score here, if you’re looking for something to work on your ledger line reading!

Petal for Piano

CMC Concert Band Reading

On February 13, I will be conducting the University of Windsor Wind Ensemble as they present 6 Canadian band compositions with the composers and members of the Canadian Music Centre in attendance.  Works by Eddington, Coles,Carovillano, Fawcett, Harley, and Pearce.  The band and myself are honoured to host the 2018 CMC Concert Band Reading session.

Strange Beautiful Music 10

New Music Detroit’s 10th annual contemporary music marathon is coming up in late September.  I’ll be playing Steve Reich’s masterwork, Music for 18 Musicians with members of New Music Detroit, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and other distinguished musicians from the region.

There’s a great lineup of artists for the full three day series of concerts:

Read More Here

Roots & Rhizomes

In July 2017, I was a member of the Root & Rhizomes Percussion Residency (Steven Schick & Claire Chase, artistic directors) at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.  The course featured two weeks of rehearsals, presentations, and performances as well as quality time hiking and socializing with some fantastic artists.

L to R: Colin Malloy, NP, Jess Tsang, and Vivian Fung.

In the first week the ensemble pictured above gave the Canadian premiere of Vivian Fung’s wild, complex, and theatrical work, The Voices Inside My Head.  We had a lot of fun preparing and performing the piece.

The same concert featured a complete outdoor performance of John Luther Adams’ evening-length percussion work, Strange and Sacred Noise.  I’ve wanted to play the piece for a long time and was elated to be a part of this performance.

In week number two, the percussion residents and members of the Pianist-Composer Collective worked on the music of Michael Pisaro with Mr. Pisaro and percussionist Greg Stuart.  The focus and aesthetic of the performances were greatly enhanced by their coaching and input.  I performed on fields have ears (4), a 27 minute work featuring a quiet, but powerfully present sonic landscape that slowly transforms over the duration of the work.  The concert of Pisaro’s music closed with ricefall (1), a tactile and profound work in which the performers drop rice at varying intensities on their chosen instruments.

The residency included meetings and coaching with some incredible artists including (in no particular order): Steven Schick, Nicolas Hodges, Aiyun Huang, Vivian Fung, John Luther Adams, Phyllis Chen, Cory Smythe, Craig Taborn, Sarah Hennies, Michael Pisaro, and Greg Stuart.

The residency featured a couple of informal cabaret concerts of new and established repertoire.  For these concerts, I led a performance of music by Jordan Nobles and performed with Zeca Lacerda on a performance of Alone In A Room by Stuart Saunders Smith.

No post about a Banff residency would be complete without a couple of images of the gorgeous surrounding topography.

Mt. Rundle

View of Banff and surrounding area as seen from the summit of Sulphur Mountain.

Thank you to the Banff Centre and its faculty, artists, and staff for an enriching and memorable experience.

nief norf Summer Festival 2017

This last June, I was a Composition Fellow at the 2017 nief norf Summer Festival.  Performers at the festival performed two of my recent compositions.  Percussionists Jon Clancy, Stephen Downing, Alex Richard, and Ike Van De Vate gave the first performance of my in-the-round percussion quartet, Revolution Summer.

For the festival, I composed New Winds for mixed chamber ensemble.  The players sounded great and were lots of fun to work with.  From L to R: Qiuchen Wang (percussion), Brianna Matzke (piano), Andy Bliss (nnSF Artistic Director), Will Yager (bass), Kyle Young (guitar), NP (composer/conductor), Riley Leitch (trombone), and Kays Ishaq (percussion).

I greatly enjoyed working with composers Christopher Adler, Marc Mellits, and Nina C. Young on the New Winds score prior to its performance.

The festival featured two weeks of stellar performances including the final marathon concert that concluded with Reich’s Drumming led by Russell Hartenberger.  For this concert, I performed in works by Philip Glass and Pauline Oliverios.

Kudos once again to the fantastic faculty, composers, performers, and staff that made this yearly festival possible.

“Summons” performance at UNT

Congratulations to John Tafoya, Mark Ford, and the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble on an incredible performance of my piece Summons for Timpani and Percussion Ensemble on April 6th.  Beautiful sounds, interpretation, and precision.

The UNT Percussion Ensembles had a concert with lots of fantastic new repertoire.  You can view the program here: nightofpercussion.040617

I wrote Summons in 2002 and revised/expanded it for publication in 2008.    The score and parts are available through Bachovich Music Publications.  The work is dedicated to my mentor and friend, Charles Dowd.

Noiseborder Festival 2017

In March 2017, the Noiseborder Ensemble hosted a two week long festival  of events at the University of Windsor including performances by pianist Douglas Finch and the Plumes Ensemble as well as performances by Noiseborder Ensemble and projects by members of the collective.

My main contribution to the festival was the Canadian premiere of Christopher Cerrone’s Memory Palace for percussion and electronics.  It’s a beautiful and tactile work that is around 25 minutes in duration.  One defining features of the piece is that the percussionist builds a majority of the instruments such as tuned slats of wood and tuned metal pipes.

It was great to play with Noiseborder Ensemble again and reprise some of the group’s most enduring/endearing works such as Superstars of Wrestling, (Follow That) Dream (Home), and film/musical works by University of Michigan faculty, Chris McNamara.

New Percussion Quartet: Revolution Summer

I just put the finishing touches on my newest composition, Revolution Summer, which is a percussion quartet performed “in the round” with the players surrounding the audience. It’s about 12 minutes in duration.  Read more below and feel free to peruse the score here:


Program Notes:

Revolution Summer is inspired by Iannis Xenakis’s percussion sextet, Persephassa (1969), that utilizes spatialized placement of the performers to create surround sound projections of Xenakis’ statistical rhythmic and timbral concepts. I performed Persephassa in 2016 and while practicing the music I identified ideas I wanted to explore in Revolution Summer. Persephassa’s use of multiple rhythmic layers, spatial movement of sound, and tremolos on simultaneous instruments yields a number of “technical asymptotes” for the players: there are passages not physically possible to perfect, yet they inspire performers to strive to their best ability to realize Xenakis’ sonic concepts. Revolution Summer is designed to express tactile and sophisticated ideas in a surround concert setting, but also to employ smaller instrumentation and more accessible technical demands so that ensemble aesthetics, that inspired me in Xenakis’ music, can be achieved by a wider range of performers.

The title, Revolution Summer, references the grassroots musical and political movement of the same name that took place during the summer of 1985 in Washington, D.C. While the concept of revolution in this piece involves the circular movement of sound across the performance space, the music and ideas of the artists of the post-hardcore scene and their contemporaries served as formative influences for me and continue to inspire me to this day.