The Wake is a disjointed work with a sad, simple melody in triple meter set against an ostinato accompaniment in quadruple meter. This juxtaposition creates a sense of confusion, resembling the clashing emotions and disbelief one might feel at a wake—a time when we reflect upon the life of another as well as our own—and try to grasp the meaning and purpose of it all.
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Imagine someone who never keeps flowers, thinking that once plucked from the earth, they have begun to perish. So why watch the slow decay? Discarded Flowers is an ode to this bleak statement and sad truth. This composition uses the first part of the Dies Irae chant in the bottom voice to symbolize the inevitable, though it quickly breaks away.
Aeons and the Demiurge is a through-composed work that is somewhat programmatic. Each section tells the story of an Aeon (angel) who fell from grace and became the Demiurge (devil), and in a rage, created the world out of spite, which according to Gnostic belief, is the reason the Earth can seem like a hostile world at times. This composition is one of my personal favorites. I've included the originally recorded and the revised edition.
Pater Meus is the most technically and emotionally challenging piece for me to play. Written for my deceased father, I borrowed a Gregorian Chant for the Our Father prayer—a found, sacred work by Praetorius. I used three small sections of the chant but changed the text to tell my father's final story. In Christianity, taking one's life is a mortal sin, and this is my prayer to God, asking him to spare casting my father to the underworld. The work is in sonata form, and the two themes are the 'prayer' and the 'descent'.
Theurgy is a dark magic used to bind deities into doing a human's bidding, usually malice of some kind. I wrote this piece while thinking of my deceased father and wishing he was still amongst the living. It has at times a canonic feel and because of the subject needs to employ a fair amount of accidentals. Although once memorized, you'll find most of the fingering is the same when the subject and entrances begin in the new key.
Most of my album "Ever Onward" tells the story of death, deep sorrow, and loss. Towards the end of the Album's composition period, I met my beloved Carrie and was inspired to write about something lighter. This piece is dedicated to her, marking the end of mourning, and celebrating what the living can enjoy. It mocks the first piece on the album, "The Wake," with a similar ostinato accompaniment and a very similar melody. However, the melody is in an uplifting major key, and the time signature is shared by the accompaniment and the melody—creating quite a different sentiment than "The Wake "... a very nice bookend to the album.