Unwinding with Penelope Recording from Boston Microtonal Society

I am so thankful to get to share Gabriela Diaz and Wendy Richman’s recording of Unwinding with Penelope from Boston Microtonal Society’s 2017 Call for Works concert. It is inspired by the subtle delaying and resistance strategies Penelope employs in The Odyssey. After promising to choose between her suitors when she completes her father-in-law’s funeral shroud, she keeps making and unmaking it, keeping them at bay as best she can with what she has available to her. (My appreciation for this comes especially from Dr. Barbara Clayton’s A Penelopean Poetics.)

I wrote this piece with Gabby and Wendy in mind, especially thinking about each of our access points to microtonal music. For Gabby, she is known for doing Ligeti’s concerto that involves scordatura (retuned strings) and microtones. For Wendy, she found Scelsi’s Manto III to be a transformative experience. For me it was when I was at the Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp back in the 2011, writing in 14 edo (14 notes per octave) for Jacob Barton, Steven Kandow, and Chris Vaisvil. Because of this I chose to use a similar starting position and sense of aspiration in how I designed Unwinding for Gabby and Wendy.

While composers like Rebecca Saunders, James Tenney, Harry Partch, and Peter Adriaansz inspire how I imagine a musical space, those warm, playful weeks in West Virginia will always be a part of how I approach alternative tuning practices.

Image credit: Quilt made at the Garden Garret Studio in Vallejo, California.



How Things Are Made release’s album and how to play along with it at home!

Earlier this year, How Things Are Made (Brian Riordan, David Bernabo, and Matt Aelmore) released an album of four indeterminate works I wrote.

You can take a listen to it all or purchase the digital album at the link below.


I deeply appreciate the thoughtfulness How Things Are Made put into finding an identity for each work. Whether it is the brusk playfulness of Get to the Point, the stasis of Yes, accidentally cut off your beard, the increasingly clear cycling of Return to Bloland, or the careful motion of Flush After Magellan, they brought the works to life with a warm and percolating musicality.

Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 10.59.07 PM.jpg

To share in the fun, you are welcome to join in on their performance of Flush After Magellan. After turning on the recording (and either keeping an eye on the track’s time, set at timer for around 26 minutes, or just go for it), pick a route to follow on this graphic (from one corner to another, around a singular point, tracing one of the double lined routes, etc.). Ideally, have the score at a size on your device so you can physically trace the route as you perform as if you are a chess piece on a board.

Basic Directions to Perform Flush After Magellan 

Each box is about 5 seconds long, but the closer you are to the double barred lines, they should be closer and closer to 10 seconds. Perform the number of sounds depicted in a box as you move through it.  Ideally they are disjunct. Have fun. Be solemn.

B = Breath

P = Pizzicato (or a snapping sound)

G = Gradually change the sounds as you move from the previous to the next box

S = Sudden Change

≈ = Do approximately what you did before

Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 11.40.37 PM = Look down and/or lowest note and Look up and/or highest note

Flush After Magellan Score Playalong


Electronic Music Midwest selects Losing Constellations for performance

Electronic Music Midwest has selected the string quartet and electronics version of “Losing Constellations” for performance by Elara String Quartet at its annual festival this October at Lewis University (no relation 😉 ).

I’ve really loved collaborating with Elara String Quartet this year and I am especially looking forward to this!

Radiophrenia Glasgow Broadcasts Fearless Reception


This morning Radiophrenia Glasgow broadcast Fearless Reception alongside work from Sister Collective and Glasgow Clyde College. It was wonderful to hear Ileana’s voice and Rogue Trio’s playing coming from another continent, especially as part of a larger attempts to increase visibility and respect for immigrants in the USA and the UK. Thank you to Radiophrenia Glasgow for curating this broadcast!

“Taleas” with Colin Gee and ECCE Ensemble in France

This summer I had the pleasure to collaborate with Colin Gee and ECCE Ensemble at the Etchings Festival in Auvillar, France. I brought a piece called “Taleas” for flute, oboe, and violin for their inaugural collaborative program with Colin Gee, and I was truly delighted to get to work with him directly. (I am such a fan of his work!) Roberta Michel (flute), Hassan Anderson (oboe), and Jennifer Choi (violin) worked so hard on this and I loved working with them.

Amaranth Quartet Premieres “Losing Constellations” at New Music On the Point

Amaranth and me cropped

In June I spent two weeks at New Music on the Point hearing a number of wonderful student and faculty concerts, inspirational lessons from a caring, aesthetically-varied faculty, and inspiring fellow students. I am thankful to University of Illinois’s Theodore Presser Graduate Music Award for making my ability to afford going possible.

A highlight during those weeks that I will treasure was collaborating with Amaranth Quartet. While it was so exciting to eventually hear my new quartet “Losing Constellations,” the time NMOP gave Julie, Helen, Abi, Emily, and me time to process, discuss, and revise ideas along the way made such a difference in how we worked on music together. I feel very honored to be allowed into Amaranth’s world during our collaboration.

How to Perform Drive to the Edge if you live within WEFT 90.1-FM’s broadcast range

If you are tuning in and want to perform Drive to the Edge, there are a few ways you can do so. It will last 15 minutes and start near the beginning of the 8 am hour on Friday Morning Menu on WEFT 90.1-FM.

If you have a car: you can tune in to 90.1-FM at 8 am and drive approximately along the edge of some of the red “local”and purple “distant” areas, safely examining what reception is like in those spaces. OR, alternatively you can safely drive in one of these areas, look for potentially obstructive visible features and examine whether it does or not.

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 3.51.21 AM.png

If you do not have a car: try moving your radio around the house or your workplace, perhaps plugging it in to different outlets while still tuned in to WEFT. How does reception change depending on the location? (Also don’t get in trouble at work!)

In all cases, the notion is you and your radio move in some way, listening for the space where the signal is still clear but somewhat distorted, and consider how the visible landscape connects with the invisible radio signals.

(Thanks to http://www.radio-locator.com and google maps for this graphic. Check out the interactive one here!)