The Asterism(s) series is a set of inter-related (but individually unique) pieces composed between 2013 and 2014, of which several have won awards or been selected / recognized in some way. In addition to a singular synthetic mode which pervades throughout all of these pieces, there are also common themes and motifs which are shared in several distinct ways - however, each piece also contains it's own unique, autonomous ideas as well. Additionally, each piece in this series bears this descriptor somewhere in the pre-score notes:

An asterism is any recognizable group of stars on the celestial sphere; either a constellation, an independently recognized grouping, or an aggregate of multiple constellations.

Conceptually, these pieces came as before and after pieces of my 2014 tour of parts of Indonesia (West Java), China (Shanghai) and several areas of Japan (Shikoku island, Kansai and Kanto areas). The unifying idea between all of these beautiful, culturally rich areas is the mosaic of stars above them.

Asterism IV (2013) for SATB chorus & piano

*Winner of the 2013 Via Choralis Composition Competition*

Duration: c. 4'00"

Premiere: April 12th 2014 / St. Elizabeth's Church, 10030 3rd St., Sidney BC / Via Choralis Chamber Choir, dir. Nicholas Fairbank 

For score and parts, please contact me.

Asterism V (2013) for solo erhu

*Selected for the 2014 Erhu Composition Workshop - Dim Sum Ensemble, Toronto, ON*

Duration: c. 2'00"

Premiere: TBA

For score and parts, please contact me

Asterisms (2014) for orchestra

*Read by the 2014 National Youth Orchestra of Canada*

Duration: c. 7'30"

Premiere: Read by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada on July 10th 2014 @ Waterloo, ON - Wilfred Laurier University

For score and parts, please contact me


Listen:

Shanghai Asterisms (2014) for Chinese chamber ensemble [ guzheng / percussion / 2 erhu / zhonghu / cello ]

*Selected for Dim Sum Ensemble's 2014 National Call for Scores*

Duration: c. 8'00" [ 2'00" solo erhu prelude + 6'00" chamber ensemble piece ]

Premiere: November 16th 2014 /  Agincourt Community Church, 3080 Birchmount Road, Scarborough, ON / Dim Sum Ensemble, dir. Tony K.T. Leung

For score and parts, please contact me

Programme Note:


This piece is my first attempt at writing for a Chinese ensemble of any sort. Structurally and technically, I chose to approach the instruments from my own Western perspective and musical training, rather than attempt the impossible feat of writing authentic contemporary Chinese music. Ideomatically, of course, the pentatonic scale inherent to the zheng is unnatural to avoid, and in this way I tried to use the ideomatic qualities of the instruments in order to write what is (hopefully) effective music for them.

Abstractly, however, there is also an extra-musical programmatic basis behind this composition. I completed this piece while staying in Shanghai in the spring of 2014; Shanghai is a beautiful and culturally rich city, and Old Shanghai in particular captured my fascination. The brightness of this piece, the pentatonic basis, is a reflection of my admiration of Old Shanghai. The chromaticism however, the occasional dissonances, reflect Shanghai's current troubles - increasingly severe smog and pollution - which mar and conceal what still survives beneath it. The ending of this piece, however, represents my optimism that Shanghai can eventually overcome its current environmental issues. - Shanghai, May 2014

 Three Asterisms (2014) for violin & piano

*Atlantic Canada Region Winner - Green Dot Journey Composer Project*

Duration: c. 11'00" 

Premiere: August 23rd 2014 / McKinley Arts & Culture Center, 925 Riverside Drive, Reno, Nevada, USA / Vanessa Porter

Score are parts are not available until September 1st 2016 (until then, sole performance rights belong to Vanessa Porter)

Follow the Green Dot Journey at www.greendotjourney.com.  In addition to the $1500 award and the provided airfare to the premiere on August 23rd 2014 in Reno, Nevada, violinist Vanessa Porter (formerly of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic and others) is touring this and the other six winning pieces across the United States and Canada from September 2014 to September 2016. These pieces may be furthermore included in audio CD and / or DVD recording projects during or after the conclusion of the tour.