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Separated by Space (2003;2004)

for trumpet & piano
duration 16 min.


I. Beyond the Moon
II. Who’s There?
III. Sighting

Separated by Space consists of three different movements that were individually conceived between 2001 and 2005.

Beyond the Moon was written during my second year at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. One of Jack Sutte’s (Second trumpet, The Cleveland Orchestra) students asked me to write a new work for him, and Jack immediately took notice of the piece. He was the very first professional musician to express interest in my music, for which I am still most grateful. The other two movements may not have been written had Jack not encouraged me to do so.

Beyond the Moon is by far the most lyrical of all three movements. It is American in spirit, and contains two different melodies woven throughout. The opening of the piece (trumpet plays inside the piano as the pianist keeps the sustain pedal down) introduces the material that later becomes the second melody. The first melody is announced after a series of rising and falling chords played by the pianist. This melody is more heroic in spirit, where as the second melody is somber and more introverted.

Who’s There? was written in the fall of 2003, which marked my first semester in the masters program at Juilliard. I was enrolled in a collaborative class for composers and choreographers, and I was required to write a new piece for a choreographer. Previously, Jack had asked for another movement, and I thought it would be fun to write this next movement knowing that someone was going to interpret it through dance. Because of this, I wanted a much more rhythmic and lively piece. The movement is conceived in three sections: fast and square, slow and atmospheric, and fast and accented. The middle section also requires the trumpeter to play inside the piano. I wanted to find a way to somehow connect the two movements, since they were written two years apart from each other.

Sighting was conceptualized to not only function as the last movement of Separated by Space, but also as an individual encore piece. It is short, fast, and a little quirky!