features Origin Unknown: A Pole Was Journeying for alto sax and guitar
Duo Montagnard's brilliant "Interspheres" includes the Kevin J. Cope work "Origin Unknown: A Pole Was Journeying" which was also commissioned and premiered by the duo.
The piece includes two Polish folk melodies, A Pole Was Journeying and Whirlwinds Raging in the Valley. which are used to tell a hypothetical version of my ancestor's journey to America in, presumably, the early twentieth century.
In Rondo form, Newton's Cradle is a mix of classical influences with a heavy modern touch.
Difficulty: Early Intermediate to Intermediate
Written for Christiaan Taggart and the University of Delaware Guitar Ensemble, this piece was written in order to accomodate a wide range of playing abilities while maintained an aggressive and youthful spirit.
Difficulty: Beginner to Early Intermediate
This piece depicts four major epochs in the development of our universe: The big bang, the first light, formation of galaxies, and the formation of our solar system. This piece was commissioned for and premiered at the 2015 Salisbury Guitar Festival.
Difficulty: Beginner to Late Beginner
When I sat down to write these pieces my goal was to create a set of modern pieces that would be easy for beginner students to read but without completely shying away from a challenge. While playing very simple rhythms, for the most part, the students can learn to listen for the impact of their part on the piece as a whole with intense dissonances incorporated into homophonic textures, intricate interweaving melodies which contain only simple rhythms, as well as noncomplex ideas such as accompaniments.
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
A set of three songs developed around the idea of bringing out a contrary textual idea that runs through each of the three poems by poet Hannah Eagleson. The first movement is a rather simple song, the second is a complex cyclic composition with expanding and contracting meters to reflect the waxing and waning of the moon, and the third is a polyphonic work that builds layers upon layer until the guitar is providing three separate melodies while the soprano weaves within the texture.
I. What if the sun that warms will prove to wither?
II. The moon forever waxes and wanes.
III. The starts are hidden by the turning Earth.
Written for flutist Paula Frechette, Penumbra has a very interesting and challenging flute part, with a technique of "rasgueado" and "tambora" used in the guitar part which is a percussive effect that is achieved by rapidly strumming the strings with the right hand for the rasgueado effect, and intermittently striking the strings over the sound hole with a clenched fist in order to subdue all sound and create a percussive effect from the strings hitting the finger board.
Three Sephardic Songs was written in the winter and spring of 2013. I strove with the music to maintain a very Arabic tone rather than overtly Spanish, assisted in this by the use of the riq (Arabic tambourine) and darbuka (Arabic drum), and therefore strayed away from chromaticism and key changes. The percussion is used to add wazn, which are repeating rhythmic patterns used in Arabic music, while the guitar wanders through the maqam, Arabic scales.