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Selected Works

Continuance

On 12, Feb 2017 | In | By joel

Continuance

Continuance (Poem by Anonymous, taken from the Findern Manuscript)
Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano and tenor viol
New! Edition for Mezzo-soprano and Cello!
Duration: 4:30

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Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for solo violin (2013)

On 21, Jun 2016 | In | By joel

Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for solo violin (2013)

Uncle Hokum’ s Fiddle is a fun, virtuosic solo violin “fiddle” piece with a Blue Grass flavor – think Wieniawski meets Orange Blossom Special! – commissioned for the 2013 Irving M. Klein International String Competition and performed by all the semifinalists (and some finalists). The title comes from two main sources. The first is the word “hokum,” which basically means nonsense, bunk, or something silly. It was also used in theater to describe some sort of stage gimmickry designed to elicit a response from a jaded audience. Perhaps a crowd pleaser? The second source is a type of bowing typical of virtuosic country fiddling pieces: hokum bowing (also referred to as the “double shuffle”). Check out Orange Blossom Special as an example of this “trick bowing.” I wanted to graft the traditions of 19th Century virtuosic violin writing with country or bluegrass fiddling. This performance was by semifinalist Yanghe Yu. Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle works really well as a recital encore!

The score is available through Grey Bird Music. To see a perusal score click here.

You can purchase a 10×13″ PDF copy of the score below:

10×13 PDF score




Arias with Dance Glitch (2016)

Commissioned by the Irving M. Klein International String Competition for the duo Soliloquy – Klein Laureates Ariel Horowitz, violin & Lauren Siess, viola. NEW REVISED VERSION!

Instrumentation: violin and viola (NB: this piece requires some singing and movement)

Duration: Ca. 20″

A video of the Washington DC performance can be found here; the National Sawdust performance here; a short film about the piece and those of us involved in the project is here.

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On 24, May 2016 | In | By joel

When the World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes for solo viola (2013)

My fierce little solo viola piece When the World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes was commissioned for the 2013 Irving M. Klein International String Competition. Performed here at its Washington D.C. premiere by the superb Derek Smith, principal violist of the New Orchestra of Washington, at Georgetown University. It is a virtuosic, intense, fractured, scherzo-like piece with echoes of Beethoven. The film is by Francisco Campos-Lopez of CinÉ/Company E. You can also hear a blisteringly brilliant performance by 2002 Klein winner and now principal violist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Teng Li at National Sawdust Here. The original remarkable World Premiere performance by 2013 Klein winner Dana Kelley Here. Want to hear Andrew Gonzalez play it at the Heifetz International Music Institute? Click here! Read what Strad Magazine had to say. The score is available through Grey Bird Music. To see a perusal score click here

You can purchase a 10×13″ PDF copy of the score below:

10″x13″ PDF Score





On 17, May 2016 | In | By joel

Movable Home (for string orchestra) (2015)

Movable Home for String Orchestra
Instrumentation: string orchestra (1.1.1.1.0 solo, plus 2.2.2.1.1 absolute minimum, more preferred – see below)
Duration: 18 minutes

Excerpt 1 (click here): Bright and energetic: The opening. A fast, energetic, and in-your-face introduction to the piece’s basic material: descending scales and a syncopated rhythm. (Mm. 1-33)

Excerpt 2 (click here): Ethereal (un poco rubato): A final distillation of the descending scales mixed with nostalgic melodic fragments from earlier variations. (Mm. 314-335)

Excerpt 3 (click here): Tenderly (poco rubato): Part of the expressive “central core“ of the piece as thematic bits coalesce into long melodic lines… which are then abruptly undercut by an unpredictable jazzy treatment of the scalar material (Mm. 177-225)

Excerpt 4 (click here): A tempo, intense: A further development of the opening rhythms plus an important expressive secondary theme appears for the 1st time. (Mm. 37-71)  

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On 08, Jun 2016 | In | By joel

Triptych for solo cello (2013)

Triptych for solo cello was commissioned for the 2013 Irving M. Klein International String Competition. Heard here as a composite performance. Movement 1: Dark Waters is a quiet, yet uneasy perpetual motion movement, like the Prelude of  a Bach Cello Suite, that sinuously moves through the cello’s registers like the turbulent flow of water (Performed by Jacques-Pierre Malan for the Washington DC premiere at the Phillips Collection). Movement 2: Parting is reminiscent of a Sarabande. Slow and expressive, it features double-stopped contrapuntal legato lines that must sing while making the player shift fingers as they sustain an additional note above or below. Movement 3: Approaching Home is of a completely different and new world. Expressing the excitement and optimism of the upcoming new chapter in our lives, it is light, based on fast ricocheted arpeggios of simple diatonic harmonies. It is more harmonic and rhythmic than melodic, for the most part, and is virtuosic in a very understated way (Movements 2 & 3 Parting & Approaching Home performed by semifinalist Sarina Zhang, Klein International String Competition). A composite performance is here. The score is available through Grey Bird Music. To see a perusal score click here.

You can purchase a 10×13″ PDF copy of the score below:

PDF score




Tomorrow Never Knows

On 28, Nov 2012 | In | By admin

Tomorrow Never Knows

Tomorrow Never Knows is an arrangement of the landmark Lennon & McCartney song (from their 1966 Revolver album ).

Instrumentation: mixed septet & electronics/pre-recorded sound.
Duration: ca. 5 minutes

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Fallings (Workshop Excerpts)

Fallings (Workshop Excerpts)

Fallings (work-in-progress) – A multi-media chamber music theater piece residing in the realm between opera and musical theater. Seth Friedman libretto

Instrumentation: 6 person cast (3 women, 3 men), solo violinist, mixed ensemble, and pre-recorded sound
Duration: projected as a one act


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The Emily Songs

On 21, Nov 2012 | In | By admin

The Emily Songs

A song cycle/album (work-in-progress).

The Emily Songs sets the austere, powerful texts of Emily Dickinson in an unadorned fashion: as indie rock.

Instrumentation: mixed ensemble
Duration: ca. 15 minutes

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Personals – I Think You Should Know

On 21, Nov 2012 | In | By admin

Personals – I Think You Should Know

I Think You Should Know (Personals the musical) An intimate torch song for the stage or cabaret. A recent divorcee is unsure about returning to the dating scene. The man she’s brought home is not. She thinks he should go, maybe… Music by Joel and Seth Friedman, Lyrics by Crane, Friedman, Kauffman

Instrumentation: voice, pit band
Duration: 3:34


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