Dedicated to the child victims of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th, 2012, this tone poem attempts to inspire peace through introspection. A gentle lilting melody, slowly growing in intensity, depicts the ascension of 20 Tiny Angels. The 7/4 time signature and modal harmony gives an impression of otherworldliness on which the melody floats. This piece features an improvised solo section supported by true modal harmony, creating a beautiful complexity of colors and shades.
Alba, a solemn, yet somewhat uplifting song, begins with a simple melody and floating chords that delay a resolution. The “B” sections serves as a disconnect that resolves back into the beginning melody. The solo section is simple and open to interpretation stylistically. The “B” section disconnects from the solos and this time drives us into an uplifting jam at the end. Alba can be heard on the Dave Longfellow’s self-titled 2009 release.
"Alone Within You" uses quotes from Debussy's Nocturnes to express a developing relationship between a young woman and an old boy. The piece traverses the emotional distance from passion, to resistance and fear, and finally back to passion. In the end, despite many attempts, the relationship never quite comes to a clean ending.
Like the other pieces in the DLE Series, this one requires a developed rhythmic maturity in order for all the parts to interlock. This piece includes a rock/funk solo section.
“Bananas for Anna” showcases the more aggressive side of the DLE in this up-tempo songo. With the addition of an electric bass, we could really start to “lay in” to our latin repertoire. So, I wrote “Büf” (as the band later aptly referred to it) with a driving bass, complex melody, and montuno break-down in mind. To assure never a dull moment, our drummer, John James, incorporates the left-foot clave technique throughout the montuno sections.
This piece is simply constructed from two contrasting sections. The first section is lyrical, harmonically ambiguous, and smoothly textured. The second has a repetitive melodic figure, straight-forward chord progression, and idiomatic strumming patterns. The two sections are connected by a brief but challenging “wind-down” phrase in the melody and drum set parts, and are combined in different proportions in each of the three macroscopic structures of the piece as a whole. The central structure allows plenty of room for exploration by a featured improviser.
The title Endymion & Diana is derived from characters of Roman mythology. This work is a chamber piece and should be played with neither percussive accompaniment nor doubling of parts. Because of this, this piece requires each player to navigate various rhythmic and dynamic complexities. This piece serves as a great recital piece or contrast piece during a concert.
Expiration Dating opens with a series of bell-tones in ascending perfect fourths. This leads to a light introductory groove in an A Major tonality, with horn-style hits in the inner parts. The primary, D Major melody of the piece is accompanied by rolling figures in the inner parts, a montuno-like bass line, and a highly linear drum set figure. After a return to the A Major and D Major sections for an improvised solo, the melody is repeated. The piece ends with an elaboration on the main theme of the melody and open vamp in the context of a B Minor turnaround.
Written in a free, romantic style, this piece allows the soloist to show off both the emotional depth and the technical potential of the cello pan. The piece starts in a slow rubato and gradually builds in intensity throughout the work, reaching an emotional height in the final bars. This piece is ideal concert material for the intermediate to advanced soloist.
From Tchaikovsky's collection of piano music for children, these simple trios are ideal for the beginner's first foray into chamber ensemble playing. Included in this collection are No. 4 "Mama", No. 5 "March of the Wooden Soldiers", No. 6 "The Sick Doll" and No.15 "Italian Song."
Although one of Gossec's most popular works, this playful melody from the Classical period may be best recognized from its use by arranger Carl Stalling in several Warner Brothers cartoons. This piece gives the intermediate soloist a chance to showcase the delicate upper register of the tenor pan. Composed in a simple ternary form, the outer sections play with a simple grace note motive built on eighth notes while the middle section embellishes the melody with sixteenth note figures. The tempo, Poco allegro ma non tropo, keeps the whole piece accessible to the intermediate soloist.
This piece was influenced by the bélé rhythms found in Martinique. The heavily syncopated 3/4 groove is accented by the accompanying pans and bass throughout the verse. The chorus continues the displacement of the groove accents while transforming into a swung 4-beat pattern. The verse is then repeated with the melody added to the bass part (on top of the original groove—good luck bass players!) and harmonized in the lead part. After a return to the chorus, the song transitions into a “2nd chapter” with a solo section and key-changing bridge.
Kidding on the Square is an adaptation of the Afro-Peruvian landó. Much of the excitement of the landó is generated by the simultaneous implication of three-beat and four-beat structures presented by the rhythm section, which often includes the cajón (large box drum), quijada (jaw bone), cajita (small, lidded box drum), bells, and additional shaken or scraped instruments. Kidding on the Square approximates this through the synthesis of common patterns played by the individual instruments of the landó rhythm section into a single, challenging drum set part.
This lively refrain and variations from the French Baroque master gives the intermediate to advanced soloist a chance to show off the agility required of runs, turns and ornamental figures at a rapid pace. Played in a Vivace tempo, this piece is sure to impress.
Lemon Law is a fun, upbeat tune roughly in sonata form. The ‘A’ section is swing-based, and contains the ‘head.’ It metrically modulates into the ‘B’ section, which is reggae-based. The ‘B’ section also contains a written-out tenor pan solo. With relatively little transition the piece enters what could be considered the development, combining elements of the piece at various pitch levels. After a fairly lengthy build-up, the A section returns with occasional alterations from what might be expected.
This little lullaby was written for my 4-year-old niece at the time she was about to have heart surgery. It’s just a simple and pretty melody that came to me with her in mind. I had her come in the studio and sing the La La La’s when she was all better (take after take…my little diva). I really love the tune as it’s such a departure from most of the highly energetic music that I had written and arranged up to that point.
This piece is the first tune from The DLE album Vol. 1. It is written in a progressive style, with a nice Afro-Cuban groove. While alternating time signatures, this piece maintains its melodic feel and sense of flow. After an optional bass solo, the song drifts into a 5/4 section with an optional conga or drum set solo which builds back up into the original theme. The song then builds until the end when it finally fades and resolves.
This duet composed in a Son Montuno style is well suited for a pair of intermediate to advanced players. The performers simulate traditional cascara and palitos patterns by playing the rim and skirt of the pans while maintaining the melodic and harmonic material above the rhythmic density. An added Latin percussion section complements this piece nicely.
This challenging arrangement of Bizet's beloved ouverture is fertile ground for the ambitious Double Seconds soloist. This piece demands a mastery of the triple-stop and quadruple-stop from the soloist as well as strong independence between the hands.
A solo for Cello Pan utilizing a Rondo form composed in a neo-Baroque style. A solid command of technique is required in this swirling refrain and variations. This piece also includes a brief fugato section to display the soloists' control of multi-voice counterpoint. Moving nimbly across the full 2 octave range of the the cello pan, this piece is great program material for the advanced soloist.
This Sarabande is a slow dance movement from Bach's first Partita for solo violin. The majority of the melodic material rests in the Tenor part while the counter lines and Bach's austere harmonies are voiced across the range of the Cello and Double Seconds. While not terribly technically demanding of the players, the challenge in this movement lies in the unity of expression required of the players by this nature of work.
This three movement sonata for cello pan highlights the resonant beauty of the instrument while exhibiting its potential as a solo instrument. Written in a neo-Baroque style influenced by the solo string works of J.S. Bach, this piece in part or whole is sure to please at your next concert or recital.
*The final movement utilizes the upper harmonic D5 commonly found in D4
“Song For Lauren” was written back in the mid 2000’s for a good friend of mine who was in a terrible car accident and had to be airlifted to a hospital. The song came to me as I was on my way to the hospital to see her. As I drove those 30 minutes or so, not knowing her condition or if she was even going to make it, this melody played in my head like it had already been there all along. When songs come to life in this way, it is nothing short of magical. There was no work, thought or planning involved. It just happened.
This piece is a duet written for the double seconds and 5 octave marimba. It begins with the marimbist performing a disjointed comping pattern, followed by a playful melody on the upper register of the double seconds, eventually leading the performers into a calypso groove setting up the first theme. With driving rhythms, interplay between both parts, sharp dynamic contrasts, solo sections to showcase each performer and tricky “licks,” this piece will be sure to excite the listener and performer alike.
This three part suite pairs the tenor pannist with the string cellist creating a novel timbral landscape. The first piece begins with a slow chromatic introduction working its way into a much faster section in the oft-neglected key of Gb Major. The second piece features a slow lyrical melody in the tenor pan over a gently moving cello line in the key of Db Major. The final piece in the work is an extremely brisk, mixed-meter, dancelike movement in D minor, complete with a metric modulation from compound to simple time.