the Fracture series
On one level, most pieces I've written since the turn of the millenium (and at least up to the point I'm writing this in early 2010) are Fracture pieces. This is why we chose the word as the title of the Anti-Social Music CD of my music released in May 2010. Like a lot of my colleagues, and as far as I can tell, a lot of my generation as a whole, I enjoy a wide variety of musical genres and styles. Although the worlds of rock, jazz, "classical" and avant-garde music were generally presented to me as incompatible, any attempt to define my own musical taste that adheres to those boundaries seems impossible. I've come to believe that such division is also not terribly informative or helpful either. When I was a kid, I took a weird pride in the strange looks I often got when purchasing, say, a recording of a Beethoven symphony alongside a Van Halen album (yes, I like Van Halen, sue me).
I now know that I'm not nearly so unique as I thought I was at the time (were any of us?), and have met many like-minded artists such as my friends in Anti-Social Music, gutbucket, Ken Thomson (who produced my record!) and Newspeak.
One day on the NYC subway, I was listening to Shostakovich—who I adore and steal from regularly—on my iPod relatively softly when I suddenly realized that I was also simultaneously digging the Pixies album that a girl next to me was listening to. It was a strange state, constantly shifting my attention back and forth between two profound musical influences from such disparate soundworlds. When I left the train, I immediately walked by a pretty sweet jazz quartet busking on the platform, and once again was shifting back and forth vertiginously. It was somewhere around this time that I first started experimenting with writing pieces that break in various ways between styles.
Of course, many composers and bands had already been doing this in various guises for a long time. The idea was new to me, but not the world. It wasn't until after I'd written a number of broken pieces, including Fracture I through Fracture III that friends turned me onto the music of John Zorn and the first Mr. Bungle album [Somehow I had missed the latter when I was in high school. This is due partly to my having grown up in the relatively sheltered musical world of Ponca City, Oklahoma and partly due to an unfortunate Classic Rock obsession. (I still love lots of Classic Rock, it was the tunnel-visioned obsession that was unfortunate, not the love itself.)] I think that this sort of "self-discovery" of creative ideas which aren't themselves at all new can be quite invigorating.
Anyway, these pieces all explore the interminglings, collisions, unexpected connections, and multual self-destructions of many different genres, styles and languages.
My Fracture pieces are always single-movement works, and they are generally written for medium to large ensembles of mixed instrumentation. The specific form is not shared between pieces, but they are all characterized by a more or less through-composed succession of different "pieces" which tend to be connected (or not connected) by various harsh transitions or sharp intercuts. The sections are stylistically unrelated, but are generally connected by a unifying motivic element.
These pieces also all contain at least a cameo appearance by the Chrysalis melody that has been haunting most of my work since 2000 like some kind of über-idée fixe.
String Quartet No. 3 "Anti-Phonal"
⋯ ⊃ 𝕊 ∋ 5e15
Fr.2i ∈ ℂ ⊂ ⋯.a–i
4e7 ∈ 𝕆 ⊂ 𝕊 ⊂ ⋯
3k ∈ ℍ ⊂ ⋯
...with pink scrunchy flowers
h.6 Hurrian Hymn to Nikkal
Anti-Social Wedding Music II
and fuzzy wuzzy bears
"N Th Ghtt"
"The Body Wants More Than Skin"
"Pictures from Her Perfect Life"
gumdrops and kittens
PortRait of the ArTist,**NYC2001
Objects Are t
Variations on Mel