Distill for 18 Players (2021)
This piece was commissioned by David Dzubay and the Indiana University New Music Ensemble. This is the live performance of the premiere from 9/23/21. Andrew Downs - Conductor. Distill is a piece whose materials are greatly inspired by past experiences and events that have shaped my artistic impulses in very broad but powerful ways. The piece takes these most common impulses and concentrates them into a single movement. However, the title does not suggest that the musical materials are being distilled over the course of the piece. The most notable impulses dealt with are those that lead me to writing sustained and melancholic music with very long and expressive lines; separating the ensemble into smaller ones to be manipulated in ways that might not be obvious otherwise; and finding ways to deal with dramatic decisions at pivotal moments. The ensemble is split into two symmetrical groups – one which is lead by the saxophone and the other lead by the horn. The juxtaposition of the two ensembles softens as the piece continues allowing them to explore their commonalities. In a very loose sense, the piece could be viewed as a kind of “theme and variations” as lines move through new parings of instruments, pushing and pulling the music into different ways of being according to their own unique qualities and characteristics. The majority of this piece was composed while in residency as a fellow at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick, Maine. I offer this piece with special thanks to David Dzubay, Aaron Travers, Tansy Davies, Derek Bermel, Andrei Pinto Correia, and my generous sponsor at Bowdoin Lorna Flynn.
Just dreams (2020) for mixed Nonet
Since about 2016, I have wanted to write a piece which is entirely slow and mostly quiet – one that captures a dim, mysterious, melancholic glow that seems pale, effervescent, and capable of evaporating at any given moment. This craving has been only partially fulfilled in some of the slow movements of my other works. However, in the pursuit of contrast, many of these movements stray from their quiet sound worlds and erupt into more passionate and bombastic textures. The title Just dreams not only sets the mood for the nebulous, floating quality of the music but also suggests this mood will be maintained throughout. The piece contains three “lines”. The presentation of a new line denotes the start of a new section – these are marked No. I, No. II, and No. III. As the piece progresses, memories and echoes of past lines permeate the sections of the new lines. Their relationships are demonstrated below: No. I = Line 1 + premonitions of Line 2 No. II = Line 2 + Line 1 No. III = Line 3 + fragments of Lines 1 & 2 In lieu of a more contrast-based sense of dramatic trajectory, the form is driven by the counterpoint of these lines, the progress of the somewhat saccharine harmonies, and the subtle transformation of timbre as the lines are filtered though the various instrumental pairings/groupings. Recording made available my the National Orchestral Institute at The Clarice.
Dust for Strings, Vibraphone, and Piano (2021)
This piece was performed at the Bowdoin International Music Festival during the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music on 6/10/21. This particular iteration of the piece was arranged to accommodate the restrictions set forth by the university. The piece was originally scored for four winds, two strings, vibraphone, and piano and can be found here: @ This movement, titled Dust, refers to the idea of something mundane, muted, and melancholic in nature. The title also suggests that the music is the lighter remnant or even residue of something that came before, or that has settled in place in the aftermath of its passing.
Tyler Taylor – Modus operandi 2. Dust (2019)
The second of three movements from Modus operandi for Mixed Octet. (Recommended 1080p). "Dust" aims to capture both the idea of something mundane - muted and melancholic in mood - and also the idea of a much lighter remnant or residue left over from something else. Jamey Guzman - Flute, Charles Craig - Clarinet, Drew Gascon - Bassoon, Tyler Taylor - Horn, Gracie Carney - Violin, Emily Azzarito - Cello, Stephen Karukas - Vibes., Matt Schultheis - Piano, Andrew Downs - Conductor
"Lake Music" Concerto for Horn and Chamber Orchestra
Concerto for Horn and Chamber Orchestra “Lake music” I.“autumn toned.” II. Evenfall III. Skyglow “The instrumentation of this concerto is roughly modeled after that of the Hindemith Concerto for Horn and Orchestra; however, I have opted to use piano in place of the timpani and have scored for solo strings instead of multiples. The Hindemith concerto also features a poem in the third movement, written by Hindemith himself, in which the horn responds to calls of recited lines. The first two lines, Mein Rufen wandelt In herbstgetönten Hain den Saal... roughly translate to, My call transforms The hall into an autumn toned grove...” The imagery of the “autumn toned grove” resonated with me in capturing the essence of the first movement and the scene that inspired it, hence the title ‘autumn toned.’ The second movement, Evenfall, can be interpreted as a continuation of autumnal imagery, but more specifically refers to the complete setting of the sun and the arrival of total darkness. The title of the third movement, Skyglow, refers to the phenomenon of the sky around urban areas appearing to glow as a result of light pollution, especially in hazy or overcast conditions. The subtitle of the concerto ‘Lake Music’ provides the context that the music is inspired by my visits to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario during my time in Rochester and the impressions they made on me. The lakes themselves, as well as the individual scenes that inspired the music, are charged with potent symbolism.” 2016
Tyler Taylor – "some notes" 3. "...I missed..." (2017)
The third and final movement of "some notes" for horn quartet. Notes: "some notes" is a horn quartet in three movements inspired by Charles Bukowski's poems "some notes on Bach and Haydn", "Mahler", "Bruckner", and "Beethoven conducted his last symphony while totally deaf". The movements of my piece do not neatly correspond to one single poem but take inspiration from several at once. The piece as a whole explores themes and images I found common among the set, most notably a sense of melancholy and contradiction. "... I missed ..." is from a line in the poem "Bruckner". This movement, perhaps the most melancholic in mood and character, tries to convey the idea of "missing" by setting up cadential patterns that never quite align. If you thought you were going to hear Bruckner, sorry to disappoint! Performers: Tyler Taylor, Victoria Knudtson, Michael Stiles, Sara Petokas