Red Line to Union Station (2019)
A lot of people write embarrassing breakup songs — but when you study composition in college, you write EXTREMELY embarrassing, ridiculously intricate breakup songs, and they’re 26 minutes long, and they get profiled in two university newspapers, one of which decides to turn that profile into a two-page spread that compares you (non-pejoratively, but still) to an octopus. Happens to the best of us. I’m not putting the full recording here, but I want to preserve some of my favorite parts of this performance, because I was lucky enough to work with flautist Margaret Lancaster, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Beattie, and the late, great keyboardist Adam Marks—and when pros like that agree to humor your music, you swallow your embarrassment about being 19 and emotionally undeveloped, and you keep the recording online.
This piece was my first serious foray into live electronics and multitracking—Margaret was kind enough to record an entire flute choir for me, and I had so much fun messing with it in all sorts of interesting ways. I really like how the distortion effects filled the space in the New Haven Off-Broadway Theater, where it was performed and recorded, and I loved the animation loop that my friend and colleague Alice Tirard made for the occasion.