November 2017 previews

Clement Reid

Realizations for Horn and Piano

I had written “Realizations” for a friend’s son, Carlin Krause, and it began with the notion of seeing a particular circumstance a certain way when young, and arriving at a different point of view after the passage of time. I had tried a technique of adding attacks, one after another for subsequent phrases, starting with three, and eventually arriving at twenty five.

Calvin Senter

Colloquies: Moon, Rain, Sun, Wind, for solo guitar

This is a work in progress to discover a serious conversation with a subject and guitar. I do this to create a tension between what I present and how it will become or relate to a subject such as the moon and then I go from there while playing my guitar to listen to what is there.

Here is a link to a video of me playing in the Seattle Guitar Orchestra, an excerpt of Elegy for a church in Seattle in 2017:

Nicole Truesdell

Ghost Story, for piano four hands

The germ for my piece happened one morning when I found myself in Capitol Hill with a free hour. I ventured into Quest Bookshop. After browsing for a while, I settled on a book about ghosts by author and medium James Van Praagh. Upon reading it I became fascinated with his accounts of ghosts haunting people’s houses. Van Praagh claims he is able to communicate with the haunting spirits and convince them to leave their earthly haunts and journey to the spirit world. This led to me imagining how this scenario could be illustrated with music.

My composition, Ghost Story, is a programmatic piece about a ghost trying and eventually communicating a message to living human beings before it continues its journey to the spirit world. Ghost Story is the most scripted work I have written and I am really interested to hear what people’s experiences are listening to it!

Mark Wilson

Kyrie eleison from the God Helmet; for guitar, soprano, and flute

I wrote this a piece a while back. The premise of the text is that a woman, a reporter doing a story on a device that gives you the sense of talking to God. As a skeptic, she is offered a chance to experience it. She doesn’t believe in God and is curious about this, tries it and in fact has a profound experience and is able to give other a people a sense of calm, peace and a sense of the divine. However for all of the good that comes from this ends as she starts to get seizures and is going to die, due to the increased neural activity and her inability to process it. So this song is her singing to this new found God saying that she is not ready to leave this realm, earth. This God must wait. She is a new mother and must attend to earthly matters, God must wait.

Composers' Salon | Friday, November 3, 2017

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

  • Clement Reid
  • Nicole Truesdell
  • Calvin Senter
  • Mark Wilson

Friday, November 3, 2017, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 4th Floor
$5–15 suggested donation

September 2017 Salon previews

Cole Bratcher

Transit Maps, fixed media with projection

The series of pieces are called Transit Maps Basically I’m collecting transit maps from around the world and converting them into some form or another of parameters for the music, mostly form and instrumentation.

The two pieces presented on the salon will be “San Francisco BART” and “Copenhagen S-Train”.

Blake Degraw

Diler, for strings

One of my favorite ways to produce variation in live performance is through orchestrated failure: providing the musicians with a clearly-defined objective, and then making it as difficult as possible to reach that objective. The music that I personally want to hear lies in the struggle to find, even if the objective is never met. Diler is the latest in my exploration of this concept. A group of violinists and violists is fed a series of wide-ranging pitches through headphones. Each chooses a single string on their instrument and is tasked with matching the reference-pitches, as they hear them, using only that string. Thus all are chasing the same goal, but the odds that they will get there the same way (or at all) are stacked against them. In the process, however, a wide array of chords can be generated. The result is different every time.

Patrick O’Keefe

Sonata for Piano

This is a piece for piano consisting of a recently written “Expression of 2nds and 4ths” followed by Bagatelles 4 & 5. As with my earlier Bagatelles, this is a somewhat tonal work relying on nonstandard harmonic techniques to establish and maintain a tonal coherency.

Composers' Salon | Friday, September 1, 2017

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

  • Patrick O'Keefe
  • S. Eric Scribner
  • Blake Degraw
  • Cole Bratcher

Friday, September 1, 2017, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 4th Floor
$5–15 suggested donation

July 2017 Salon previews

Clement Reid

Theater Piece #2

I’ve been putting a group of solo pieces for a program together, and the feeling of this piece is of a long journey, as shown in the first movement, “Narration”, where a particular note series seems to define a road or path. The general sound of the instrument seemed to suggest characterizations, especially in mvt. IV. “Side Shows”, which has a circus-like environment. The piece has been performed on Tacoma New Music and on a concert, At the Western Front, a US-Canada composer exchange program.

Jay Hamilton


Keith Eisenbrey

Ghosting Doubles (second sighting)

Earlier this year—having been dutifully plodding along, working out yet another overly ornate concept for yet another solo piano piece—I was brought up short by Amy Denio’s lovely solo accordion melody “Ghosting”. I immediately knew I wanted to work with it somehow. Amy graciously gave her permission (thank you thank you thank you!) so I ditched the overly ornate and wrote three separate pairs of not-quite-one-to-one counterpoints. Doubles, in the baroque sense: not so much variations as transformative screens or filters. Of those three I will present one: “Ghosting Doubles (second sighting)”.

Jessi Harvey

Eden Untamed

“Reforming the Recognizable” and “Still Here, Anew” are the final two movements of Eden Untamed, a piece dedicated to a fellow composer’s rumination on what it means to be and act as a composer. A short melodic idea of his was the basis of all the harmonic and motivic development to challenge myself to slowly exert as much control as possible over the piece. The third movement is the final condensation of the idea into a single point. The fourth movement is the amalgamation of the structure of the first three movements balanced with a release of, what can vaguely be called, the oppression of caprice.

The first two movements, “Themes Amuck” and “Pieces of the Puzzle”, can be found at:

Jeremiah Lawson

Guitar Sonata in D minor

The inspiration for this work in-progress was waking up one Sunday morning in 2016 hearing what the tune “Restoration” from William Walker’s compilation Southern Harmony might sound like if performed by the great Texas Gospel blues slide guitarist Blind Willie Johnson. Movements 3 and 4 together form a traditional sonata form. However, drawing some inspiration from Hepokoski & Darcy’s concept of “rotation” (and some from cumulative form in the work of Charles Ives) I present “Restoration” as the basis for a ragtime theme in the sonata exposition (theme 2) that becomes the set of variations on “Restoration” as a slide guitar homage to Johnson in the recapitulation (aka movement 4), which can also be performed as a stand-alone movement. The third theme/coda material is derived from the subject of a fugue that will be the first movement.

Composers' Salon | Friday, July 7, 2017

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

  • Keith Eisenbrey
  • Jay Hamilton
  • Jessi Harvey
  • Jeremiah Lawson
  • Clement Reid

Friday, July 7, 2017, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 4th Floor
$5–15 suggested donation