works

2012

Three short works

Written quickly, none of these have yet been performed, but they are presented here for amusement. The first two were demanded by the Estonian soprano Sirje Viise and the third written as a gift for Michelle Jeanine Horsley.

Title Score Synthetic
Galaxy Pants pdf mp3
Cheetah wants to change those drapes, by Sirje Viise pdf mp3
the little church of St Petka of the Saddlers inside the subway by the TZUM pdf mp3

2012-3

YKCYC

Opera quasi neo-buffa on the lives and stories of the OBERIU, especially Daniil Kharms, libretto by VADA, workshopped by the Klagenfurter Ensemble, Austria, December 2012. Score is here, video here.

2012

Home, with illustrations

Included in The Opera America Songbook, CD and score and a video here.

2012

Certitude and Joy

The "bold and brilliant new chamber opera by composer-librettist Erling Wold" (San Francisco Chronicle) premiered in March of 2012 at Bindlestiff in San Francisco to rave reviews and sold out audiences. The libretto is here and the score here and a video here.

2011

Certitude and Joy

For orchestra. Premiered the 2nd of June, 2011, by the Sofia Philharmonic, Alexei Kornienko conducting.

The words of the title come from Blaise Pascal's Memorial, his description of an irrational moment that shaped his life: a burst of insanity, an experience of love, an overwhelming affection. The piece is sentimental in terms of sentience, defining humanity's intelligence in its capability to feel. As a mathematician, Pascal is famous for many things, not the least of which is his triangle, an arrangement of the binomial coefficients, some sequences of which are used as structural elements in the piece. This musical work is a companion piece to two others, the opera Chosen and the piano duet walking along the Embarcadero past pier 7 and the flowers, both of which dance along the razor's edge between religious certainty and fanatical madness.

The score is here and the recording here.

2011

Queer 2011

A remounting of my opera queer at Southside Theater, San Francisco, May 20th to 29th. The revised score is here.

2010

DieciGiorni: 10 DAYS

I took part in a collaborative opera based on the Decameron which, after some behind-the-scenes toil, murder and conflagration, came out OK. Here are the musical bits I contributed, performed divinely.

Section MP3 Video Score
Proem mp3 video pdf
Tell o Sicily mp3 video pdf
and in this turn of the light mp3 video pdf
Nocturne mp3 N/A pdf
Five Bachelorettes mp3 video pdf

2010

Walking along the Embarcadero past pier 7 and the flowers

For two pianos, about a half an hour, score is here and a recording by the ZOFO duo here.

2010

per Margherita Eugenia

Although my father was capable of some puccaloistic whistling, most of my musical talent came through my mother, who played in a piano-laden ersatz orchestra in her youth, a not uncommon animal in those areas bereft of a bona fide heterogeneous ensemble, performing multi-piano arrangements of familiar melodies, such as her favorite, my countryman Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, whose inexorably testosteronic accelerando rubbed her and her fellow pianistes to the brink of ecstasy. But the LP most in rotation in my boyhood home featured the trademark cascading strings of the Mantovani arrangements of Italian melodies, including Come Back to Sorrento, a calorie-lacking fluffball that I still cannot hear without bawling like a little baby, and a few flavonoids of which I have stolen for my variation here for an ensemble sadly lacking the three thousand strings necessary. Score here and recording here and video here.

2009

Sweet Encumbrance

Continuing with the treacly investigation of romance and its elations, its euphoric pleasures, begun with Two Orchestral Waltzes for Lynne, the current work makes manifest, in sound, the joyous warmth, the sweet iron fetters and the small panics which flow from hogtying oneself together with one's chosen helpmeet and companion. In this piece, it is demonstrated in some detail how much one can gain in life simply by giving up one's philandering, and, while still given license to strut and flirt and still authorized to play the dandy, one must now, for the foreseeable future, festoon one's costume with the leash and collar and electronic ankle bracelet, sometimes visible but most often invisible, like the line that one might be enticed to cross save for the memories of the previous attempts' resultant truncheoning and electric shocks. But let us not dwell on such past pains, but please to look to that bright future world illumined by the brightest and whitest of most pure light where, joined in glory and set upon one's throne just to the right of the Empress, in a new Sagrada Familia, happily holding court, happily holding the hand of the one most beloved. Score here and recording here.

2009

The Secret of Success: a chaconne for violin and piano

More or less a chaconne, in the modern sense of the word: a series of variations over a repeating harmonic progression. In this case, all the harmonies have a Bb in the bass, they are a bit insistent about it in fact, and are connected through a narrow set of chromatic major/minor alterations. Score here. Written for my friends, the duo Elena Denisova and Alexei Kornienko. A recording of the piece by my colleagues Marja Mutru and Michele Walther is here.

2009

In the Stomachs of Fleas

A gorgeous and glorious collaboration between Fognozzle and me, a spectacle of light and sound and night and fog. The score here and the recording here and the video here.

2009

Two Orchestral Waltzes for Lynne

"The waltz, in fact, is magnificently improper - the art of tone turned bawdy. I venture to say that the compositions of one man alone, Johann Strauss II, have lured more fair young creatures to lamentable complaisance than all the hypodermic syringes of all the white slave scouts since the fall of the Western Empire. There is something about a waltz that is simply irresistible. Try it on the fattest and sedatest or even upon the thinnest and most acidulous of women and she will be ready, in ten minutes, for a stealthy kiss behind the door - nay, she will forthwith impart the embarrassing news that her husband misunderstands her, and drinks too much, and cannot appreciate Maeterlinck, and is going to Cleveland, 0., on business to-morrow..." H.L. Mencken.

The two waltzes here are written for my inamorata, and reflect two of her most beguiling facets, the first: as the fallen Russian aristocrat, the woman of a certain expectation lacking the allowance that would sanction it; the second: as the haughty and dominating sovereign, unwilling to brook any usurpation of her ultimate and crushing authority. Popularly, waltzes are thought of as dances in 3/4 time, but the word waltz merely means a revolving dance, as both words come from the same root, and many dances named waltzes over the last few centuries have been in a variety of meters: 2/4, 3/4, 6/8, 5/4. But in the end, composers get to call their works whatever they want, so, while the first soi-disant waltz is in 3/4, it is hardly a dance at all, more a concert statement of unbridled passion, discords and all, and the second, while primarily in a fast 3/4 with shifts to 2/4, carries us away in a whirl, a flash of ankle as the ball gown spins up, bodies pressed against each other, a fevered head falling to a shoulder in a swoon of sweet and utter surrender.

Section MP3 Score
Ludmilla mp3 pdf
Empress mp3

2008

On the Death of David Blakely. November 8, 1896, Wednesday. David Blakely, manager of Sousa's Band, died suddenly yesterday afternoon in the Carnegie Building, Fifty-seventh Street and Seventh Avenue, from an attack of apoplexy. Mr. Blakely was in the best of health until stricken. At about 4 o'clock his typewriter went out on an errand. When she returned, she found Mr. Blakely lying on his face on the floor of his office. Score and recording.

2008

Mordake, a solo electronic opera for John Duykers with a libretto by Douglas Kearney. A vocal reduction is here.

Section MP3
overture mp3
panthera leo mp3
supper, sir mp3
go get our supper mp3
what have you done? mp3
i'm no murderer mp3
doctor! doctor! mp3
once there was a boy (1) mp3
you killed me before mp3
you've never said that mp3
you say i take mp3
once there was a boy (2) mp3
i want to see him mp3
my sister, my love mp3

2006, 2008

Missa Beati Notkeri Balbuli Sancti Galli Monachi, Mass of the Blessed Notker the Stammerer, Monk of St. Gallen. Premiered April 12/13 in St Gallen and Jona, Switzerland, Hans Eberhard, director, Kimberly Brockman, soprano, Willibald Guggenmos, organ, Collegium Vocale der Kathedrale St. Gallen, Collegium Instrumentale der Kathedrale.

Section Score MP3
Kyrie pdf mp3
Gloria pdf mp3
Credo pdf mp3
Psalm 23 pdf mp3
Sanctus pdf mp3
Benedictus pdf mp3
Agnus Dei pdf mp3
Psalm 100 pdf mp3
Postlude pdf mp3

2007, 2008

Orchestral Suite from Mordake #1 and #2. Played by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, September 2007 and March 2008.

Number MP3
1 mp3
2 mp3

2007

Waltz for Lynne for piano. Score here.

2007

Baron Ochs suite for orchestra. Orchestration of the original from 1985. Performed by San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, March 2007.

Scene MP3 Score
the night before the festival mp3 pdf
mohammed has a vision mp3 pdf
confusion mp3 pdf
a moment passes mp3 pdf
valzaccho returns to the forest mp3 pdf

2005

La Lunga Ombra (the long shadow), a film by Jon Jost.

listen
credits
walking
beach
sun
interview
story
church
ending credits

2005

Blinde Liebe (aka Brother/Sister) a dance opera with the Palindrome Dance Company. Performed in Nürnberg and San Francisco so far.

2004

an old man dies

This piece was written for Elena Denisova and Alexei Kornienko, originally and maybe still planned as part of my autobiographical opera, the story of one of my own possible deaths.

2004

Brightness exists in two versions, one for clarinet, piano and bass-baritone and an expanded score for orchestra. The text is a poem by Dan Bellm. The recording of the chamber version features Rachel Condry and Joe Kinyon (and myself). The orchestral version is played by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra with Rachel Condry and Micah Epps as soloists.

# listen (chamber) score (chamber) listen (orchestral) score (orchestral)
1. mp3 pdf mp3 pdf
2. mp3 pdf mp3 pdf
3. mp3 pdf mp3 pdf

2004

Homecoming, a film by Jon Jost. Premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2004. Won first prize at Spirit Film Festival, 2005.

2004

Trio, for Deborah Slater Dance Theater with Thom Blum. Here's an mp3.

2003

Raheel, a set of songs, and poem to you written in whispers, a song, both on texts by Dima Hilal, piano-vocal and orchestral versions. The recordings below feature Dina Emerson, soprano, and the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra.

  mp3 Piano-vocal video
refugee n/a pdf  
homecoming SFCCO pdf  
america n/a pdf  
whispers SFCCO pdf wmv

1994-2003

Sub Pontio Pilato, an opera about the suicide and historical recreation of Pontius Pilate to a libretto by James Bisso. Various scenes presented in San Francisco, Nürnberg and the Alternativa Festival in Prague. An orchestral version of some scenes was presented in Seattle with the Seattle Creative Orchestra, Laurie Amat, John Duykers, and the Ancora choir. A workshop production was done in Wels, Austria in December of 2002 and the piece premiered in San Francisco at the ODC Theater in April of 2003. Some production photos are here. Below are recordings of the premiere performance and the orchestral performances.

Scene ODC

Orchestral

Score
1: Impassivity mp3 mp3 pdf
2: Sortes Pilatianae mp3   pdf
3. Casus Primus mp3   pdf
4. Simon Cyrenensis mp3   pdf
5: Verum Eikon mp3 mp3 pdf
6: Casus Secundus mp3 mp3 pdf
6.5 First Entr'acte mp3   pdf
7: Visum Proculae mp3 mp3 pdf
8. Fixura Clavorum mp3   pdf
9: Nescio et Excrucior mp3   pdf
10. Daughters of Jerusalem mp3   pdf
11: Casus Tertius mp3 mp3 pdf
12. Mors Pilati mp3   pdf
13-15. Second Entr'acte mp3    
16. Rationale Judicii mp3   pdf
17. Pilatus Beatus Est mp3   pdf
18: Credo mp3 mp3 pdf
19. Martyrium Pilati mp3   pdf

2001

Veracity, an ongoing suite of pieces for piano solo written for Marja Mutru. The performance below is a live recording of a performance by Erling Wold on the Kalvos and Damien radio show

Title Score low res recording
Sincerity pdf mp3
Devotion pdf mp3
Truth pdf mp3

2001

Die Nacht wird kommen, German version of A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil. Premiered in Austria by the Klagenfurter Ensemble in July 2001. Performed in Brühl Germany in September of 2002.

Scene MP3 Score
title pdf
0: Opening mp3 pdf
1: die Akademie der Wissenschaften pdf
2: die Finsternis mp3 pdf
3: die Stunde des Verbands mp3 pdf
4: die Finsternis 2 pdf
5: die Haarpracht mp3 pdf
6: wortlosen Gebetes mp3 pdf
7: Schlafen 2 mp3 pdf
8: das Messer mp3 pdf
9: das Messer 2 mp3 pdf
10: der himmlische Verlobte mp3 pdf

2000

queer, a chamber opera based on the William Burroughs novel. Premiered in San Francisco, April 2001. The libretto is here.

queer (CD), released by Spooky Pooch Records.

Scene MP3 Score
0: Overture mp3 pdf
1: Carl Steinberg mp3 pdf
2: K C Steak House mp3 pdf
3: Talking with Joe mp3 pdf
4: Lee Meets Allerton mp3 pdf
5/6: Several Days Later/That Afternoon mp3 pdf
7: Later that Evening pdf
8: Queer Hints mp3 pdf
9: First Date mp3 pdf
10: Pat's Steak House mp3 pdf
11: Walking mp3 pdf
12: Pawn Shop mp3 pdf
13: Chess Game mp3 pdf
14: Mentioning the Trip mp3 pdf
15: Allerton Agrees To Go mp3 pdf
16: Starting the Trip mp3 pdf
17: Quito mp3 pdf
18: The Doctor mp3 pdf
19: Manta pdf
20: Guayaquil mp3 pdf
21: Yage mp3 pdf
22/23: Puyo mp3 pdf
24: Cotter mp3 pdf
25: Hunting mp3 pdf
26: Epilogue mp3 pdf

2000

Harvest of Rage, a set of songs for tenor and orchestra.

1998

I brought my hips to the table, collaboration with Cid Pearlman for the ACF Composer/Choreographer award. Based on Bearing the Names by Michelle Murphy. Presented at ODC, San Francisco, December 1998.

# MP3 Score
1. mp3 pdf
2. mp3 pdf
3. mp3 pdf
4. mp3 pdf
5. mp3 pdf

1998

Hushed Piece, song to a poem by Amy Trachtenberg. Score is here.

1997

London Brief, soundtrack for a film by Jon Jost. Premiered at the Yamagata and Rotterdam film festivals. DVD release on OtherShore.

# MP3
1.Tube mp3
2.Machines mp3
3.Turnstile mp3
4.Arcade mp3
5.Virtuality mp3
6.Museum mp3
7.Homeless mp3
8.Spinning mp3
9.Train mp3

1997

Close/Minotaur, a dance choreographed by Cid Pearlman of The Nesting Dolls (San Francisco) as well as Robert Wechsler of Palindrome Dance (Nürnberg). Both versions were premiered in 1997. An MP3 recording of a performance by the San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble is here and a score is here. It has also been performed in Philadelphia by Relâche.

1996

13 Versions of Surrender, song cycle for piano, bassoon, cello and voice based on the poem by Michelle Murphy. Premiered by Laurie Amat in several concerts in San Francisco, including Footwork. The libretto is here. Lauren Elder did a painting based on the piece.

13 versions cd 13 Versions of Surrender (CD), released by Spooky Pooch Records.

# MP3 Score
1 mp3 pdf
2 mp3 pdf
3 mp3 pdf
4 mp3 pdf
5 mp3 pdf
6 mp3 pdf
7 mp3 pdf
8 mp3 pdf
9 mp3 pdf
10 mp3 pdf
11 mp3 pdf
12 mp3 pdf
13 mp3 pdf
14 mp3 pdf

1995

Abstände, Duet, etc, several pieces for dancer-interactive computer system, computer-controlled pipe organ and electronics, performed at Tafelhalle, Nürnberg, and Gasteig theatre, Munich, with the Palindrome Dance Company. There are some approximations to possible realizations of the pieces in piano reductions here and here.

1995

Song of Songs for soprano and piano. MP3 of Laurie Amat singing with me on the piano here and score here.

1995

Albrechts Flügel, four pieces for piano solo. Marja Mutru plays them here.

# MP3 Score
1 mp3 pdf
2 mp3 pdf
3 mp3 pdf
4 mp3 pdf

1995

Yoga Garden for a yoga dance performance by Gay White. An MP3 file is here.

1993-4

A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil, chamber opera based on the collage novel by Max Ernst. Scored for flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, viola, horn, cello, keyboard, percussion. 50 minutes. Performed at Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, January-February 1995. Produced by the Paul Dresher Ensemble at ODC Theater, San Francisco, March 2000. Some production photographs of the ODC performance are here and the libretto is here.

A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil (CD), released by MinMax Records.

Section Studio 2000 Intersection1995 Score
title     pdf
introduction mp3 mp3 pdf
academy of science mp3 mp3 pdf
tenebreuse and dance mp3 mp3 pdf
first prayer mp3 mp3 pdf
tenebreuse 2 and sleep pdf
the hair mp3 mp3 pdf
second prayer mp3 mp3 pdf
second sleep mp3 mp3 pdf
the knife mp3 mp3 pdf
the knife 2 mp3 mp3 pdf
the celestial bridegroom mp3 mp3 pdf

1993

The Bed You Sleep In, soundtrack for a film by Jon Jost, produced by Complex Corporation. Film invited to film festivals in Berlin, London, Vienna, Iceland, Istanbul, Sundance, San Francisco, etc. Scored for saxophone, oboe, flute, clarinet, piano, drums, cello, viola.

CD released by The Table of the Elements in December 1993.

Section MP3 Score
The Bed You Sleep In mp3 pdf
The Comfort of Solitude mp3 n/a
Out Here, Somewhere mp3 pdf
Why Didn't You Tell Me You Knew My Daughter? mp3 n/a
People with Happy Lives mp3 pdf
Their Lives are Such Misery pdf
A Warning mp3 pdf
I Won't Tell a Soul mp3 pdf
Sadness mp3 pdf
I Just Thought You Should Know mp3 pdf
Did You Tell Her Mother? mp3 n/a
Jean Is Dead mp3 pdf
Every Violation of Truth mp3 pdf

1992

Modules and Loops, electronic music for a dance by Robert Wechsler, performed in Germany and Czechoslovakia. MP3 file is here.

1991

Table for One, electroacoustic music for dance by Ann di Fruscia, performed in San Francisco.

1990

Sure Fire, music for film directed by Jon Jost, who asked me to write country music that wasn't country music. Oh, and it had to be in Just Intonation.. Released theatrically in France, USA, UK, Germany. Winner of Caligari Prize, Berlin Film Festival 1991. First place in Athens Film Festival 1992. Scored for pedal steel, electronics and drums.

Cue MP3
conversation mp3
credits mp3
driving mp3
story mp3
landscape 1 mp3
road mp3
landscape 2 mp3
landscape 3 mp3
talk mp3
ending mp3

1990

I Weep (CD), released by Spooky Pooch Records.

Track Title MP3
1 It was in the summer that i first noticed your hair, your face, your eyelids mp3
2 Duncan's long day mp3
3 Mo mp3
4 Center-mother and boss-puss mp3
5 Seven days ago mp3
6 As we got into it a little bit mp3
7 A little girl dreams of taking the veil mp3
8 The whistling note mp3
9 Egg mp3
10 Piano Concerto #4 by Vsyayukh Minyetchik: The new age comes to illinois mp3
11 2nd movement: But now they feel more at home mp3
12 3rd movement: Could this be the last we see of it? mp3
13 I feel a little worse today than yesterday mp3
14 Chin ho mp3
15 318 45th Street mp3
16 Bird chirp (Duncan) mp3

1989

Seven Days Ago for organ, flute, horns and orchestral vibraphone. Included on I Weep. Score here and MP3 here.

1989

Egg Dance, electroacoustic music for a dance by Gay White and Leigh Evans, performed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Included on I Weep.

1989

Mo for piano. Included on I Weep.

1989

Center Mother and Boss-puss, setting of the Antonin Artaud poem for keyboard and two solo instruments and soprano or tenor. Score here and MP3 here.

1988

It was in the summer that I first noticed your hair, your face, your eyelids. Scored for flute, clarinet, oboe, bells, retuned piano and electric bass. Included on I Weep. Included on Numbers Racket, Just Intonation Network, 1991.

1988

Piano Concerto #4 by V.M. Included on I Weep.

Movement Title MP3
1 The new age comes to illinois mp3
2 But now they feel more at home mp3
3 Could this be the last we see of it? mp3

1988

Music of Love (CD), released by Spooky Pooch Records.

Track Title MP3
1 Dance of the Testifiers mp3
2 Ten Tan Girls for Every Boy mp3
3 Dance of the Polygamists mp3
4 Canned Demon mp3
5 For Lynn Murdock: #1 for 11 strings and percussion mp3
6 For Lynn Murdock: #2 for harp, organ, stick and drums mp3
7 The story of Play-Do mp3
8 Hagalaz mp3
9 Ara Hemat mp3
10 Anus Dentata mp3
11 Marriage mp3
12 Heaven for Girls mp3
13 Crash mp3

1987

Duncan's Long Day for synthesizer. Included on I Weep.

1987

Incidental music for the play The Islamic Republic of Las Vegas: Dance of the Testifiers, for retuned flute, vibraphone and drums. Included on Music of Love. Included on Rational Music for an Irrational World, Just Intonation Network, 1989. Dance of the Polygamists for piano. Ten Tan Girls for Every Boy for organ, saxophone, bass, synthesizer.

1987

Suite for music box: Heaven for Girls, Ara Hemat, The Story of Play-Do, Canned Demon, etc. Included on Music of Love.

1987

318th 45th Street for string orchestra, included on I Weep.

1987

Quintet, music for a dance by Robert Wechsler, performed in New York and Germany. MP3 here.

1986

Tune for Lynn Murdock #2, included in Tellus #14, special issue on just intonation.

1986

Crash, music for a dance by Gay White, performed at New Langston Arts in San Francisco, Nexus Gallery, Berkeley and Lhasa Gallery, Los Angeles. Included on Music of Love. Included in premiere issue of Leonardo Music Journal CD, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1991.

1986

Baron Ochs (LP) released by Spooky Pooch.

1985

Marriage for two trumpets and bass or slide guitar and bass.

1985

Hawaii Five-O for 3 keyboards. Two included on Baron Ochs, one on I Weep.

1985

Baron Ochs, music for a recitation. Text by Everett Shock and Erling Wold. Scored for two keyboards and solo instrument. 25 minutes. Included on Baron Ochs. Performances in San Francisco, 1985 and Berkeley, 1991.

Scene MP3
the night before the festival mp3
mohammed has a vision mp3
confusion mp3
a moment passes mp3
valzaccho returns to the forest mp3

1985

Sunup on I-5.

1982

Tune for Lynn Murdock #1, for 11 amplified strings and percussion. Included on Music of Love (CD), 1988.

1979

Concerto for String bass and Chorus in quarter-tones and sixth-tones.

1978

The Waste Land, setting of the T.S. Eliot poem. Scored for piccolo, flute, violin, vibraphone, percussion, piano/celesta and soprano. Eleanor Remick Warren music composition award from Occidental College.

1978

Sonata for clarinet and piano in two tempi.