The Elemental Suites - A Quartet of Quartets
Suite For Earth - A String Quartet, 9:55
The Cello Solo from the first movement, played by Mitch Smith
Another work in The Elemental Suites, Suite for Earth is a string quartet. Strings, especially the lower strings, are often described as having a "dark, earthy sound." The movements are Rich Soil; a movement featuring the beautiful range of the cello, Cracks in the Concrete; an experiment in minimalism, and Two Lullabies from the Mountains; taking two different bed-time songs I heard as a little girl, and messing with bi-modality. The final movement has some influence from Apocalyptica, a metal cello quintet, and is entitled, Obsidian.
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Suite For Fire - Quartet for the End of Time(Cl, Vln, Vcl, Pno), 11:45
Performed and recorded by
Richard Galbreath-Clarinet, Madison Kubala-Violin, and Nick Johnson-Cello
A part of The Elemental Suites, Suite for Fire is scored for Clarinet in B-flat, Violin, Cello, and Piano. The first movement is Wildfire, and the second movement is slower and entitled, The rain, a book, and a candle. The third movement is a fiddle tune with a bit of a twist is called, Campfire and Cinnamon Whiskey. The fourth movement, is a ballad entitled Warm by the Hearth, with a codetta back to the fiddle tune in the Last Round of Whiskey.
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Novella - for Woodwind Quartet and Alto Voice
Movement 2 performed and recorded by
Alyssa Baechle - Alto, McKenna Jansky - Flute, Kyle Howe - Oboe,
Mariah Baechle - Clarinet, Paul Beyer - Horn, and Mira Bartell - Bassoon
This piece was written as my final thesis for my undergraduate composition degree and focuses on life, and growth, and finding your way. The entirety of the piece focuses on a little girl and her journey as she grows from a child into an adult in 5 movements. A Latin Lullaby starts off the song cycle when the girl is just an infant and her mother is singing her to sleep. In the Morning follows the girl through childhood as the comforting mother encourages her child to go off and find her way through life. I'd Brush the Summer By takes it's lyrics from Emily Dickenson's "If You Were Coming in the Fall". This movement centers on young love, and the joys of life. To Quarter the Tree is another Dickenson poem, "The Thunderstorm" and it represents the trials and hardships that are present throughout our lives. Epilogue is the final movement and centers on the hope for the next few years to be gentle and kind.
In the Woods Behind Baskerville - 6-piece Trombone Choir, ~4:00
Performed by the CSU Trombone Choir(FoCo Bones) - ITF 2023
Commissioned for the Colorado State University Trombone Studio for the 2023 International Trombone Festival
“His face white in the moonlight, his hands raised in horror, glaring helplessly at the frightful thing which was hunting him down.”
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
Available here, at Murphy Music Press.
Relentless Growth - for Flute, Cello, and Electronic Harp, 4:42
Recording by cellist, Mitch Smith, and flautist, Jenna Moore
*Note-this piece has been slightly revised and some of the recording does not match the score.
A part of an album put out by the CSU Composition Studio, It All Falls Down, an album that focuses on the concept of entropy. Kudzu is an invasive vine that has successfully taken over many forests in the US Southeast. It has turned many vast and vibrant ecosystems into something stagnant. As pictured here, it is still lush and green on the outside, but everything underneath has been choked to death.
A fun story about the concept of the piece, I had written multiple pieces about various nature things before this (as I'm sure you can see) and the entirety of my composition studio was like, Amber, you are not allowed to write about nature. And so I was like, hm, but what about this plant? And Dr. David, who's from the part of the country where this plant took hold of ecosystems was like "hey I know that plant (heavy paraphrasing here) and I like giving little nods to Georgia every once and awhile." So I was allowed to write about nature. Again. Haha.
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Carnival of the Pets - For Clarinet and Horn
Performed and recorded by
Paul Beyer - Horn, Sam Anderson - Clarinet
Written for two friends of mine in the CSU Music Education program, Paul Beyer and Sam Anderson, Carnival of the Pets consists of 5 1-2 minute shorts with each movement focusing on one fairly common household pet. The five separate miniatures are Fanfare for the Common Dog, Cats who protect us from the demons within the Void, Bunnies let loose, Fish from the Waters Vast, and In Fuga Avem.
Silver Dollar Lake - For Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, 7:54
This piece is about a hiking trail in the Guanella Pass in Georgetown, Colorado. This is a frequent hike for my brother and I, and we know the trail like the back of our hands. The beginning of the trail is relatively easy, going through a forest-y area with small streams. As you continue on the path, you exit the forest and there's a switchback that gets really rocky. So obviously, my brother and I jump from rock to rock and fast as we can. We have both slipped multiple times but still have not learned that we probably shouldn't do that. There is always snow on this trail. It will be June-August and there's still snow. But since it's summer, it's still warm out and so the snow seems out of place, ethereal. This only adds to the beauty of the mountain and the trail, and makes it unbound to the typical four seasons, having two opposites exist in harmony. When you finally get to Silver Dollar Lake, it's smaller than a typical lake but still has that sense of achievement when you reach it. Everyone always says it's about the journey, not the destination. In this case, I think the destination is just as good.
Photos by Joshua Sheeran
Silver Dollar Lake
Like You Own the Place - A Waltz for Woodwind Trio, 3:05
Recording by the trio the piece was originally written for. Clarinet-Kinzi Kaiser, Flute-Sarah Tapia, Bassoon-Mira Bartell
A commission from a friend who was looking for a "sassy, minor piece" for woodwind trio. When the request came in I immediately thought of something pretentious and almost arrogant, so naturally I wrote a waltz. However, with all the "wrong notes" scattered within the piece, it's obvious that this dude doesn't actually know how to waltz. Scored for flute, clarinet, and bassoon, this little scherzo is a play on the phrase "to waltz in like you own the place".