Matt’s Music

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The Problem with Autumn

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: The Problem With Autumn

The Problem With Autumn (score-PDF)

Brave Mouse Sonata

(Modern Classical – 2008-2009)

Brave Mouse Sonata is the first long-form piece I have composed. It uses only 6 notes at a time (out of the possible 12), except during the more chromatic, transitional passages of each movement. At the end of these “modulations,” the only tones used are the complement of the 6 notes that were used at the start—so together, all 12 tones are used.

Performer: Rob Keiser – Piano

Movement 1:

Movement 2:

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download Movement 1: Brave Mouse Sontana Movement 1

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download Movement 2: Brave Mouse Sonata Movement 2

Download the PDF score for Movement 1: Sonata in Complementary Hexachords

Download the PDF score for Movement 2: Sonata in Complementary Hexachords Second Movement

Download the PDF score for Saxophone, Movement 2: Sonata for Saxophone Movement II

Sequence Number 1

(2010)

Sequence Number 1 is an attempt to integrate the hexatonic scale and the gradual, subtle shifts of Minimalist composition. The first half of the piece follows this structure, drawn from the first six elements of the Fibonacci sequence beginning on 1 and 3. There is then a transitional section, incorporating elements of the octatonic scale parallel to the hexatonic scale that I have been using, and then a shift upwards of a half-step.

The second half of the piece repeats the overall pattern of time signatures and chords (still a half-step higher than before), but every 11 measures the roles of the instruments shift, so that each of them gets a chance to play each of the different rhythmic patterns and also to take the melody.

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: Sequence Number 1

Download the PDF score: Sequence Number 1 Score

Swing Sonata

(Jazz/Classical – 2009-2010)

Swing Sonata for Alto Saxophone is my thesis for my master’s degree. I decided to use the classical sonata form (more or less), but the harmonic language—the individual chords and scales—come mostly from the world of jazz and blues.

Performers: Rob Keiser- Piano; Eric Dalio – Alto Sax

Movement 1:

Movement 2:

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download Movement 1: Swing Sonata Movement 1

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download Movement 2: Swing Sonata Movement 2

Talon

(Jazz – 2009-2010)

This 12-bar blues composition was named for its sharp, aggressive nature. It uses the standard AA’B structure of a blues, but some of the chord choices in the A section are extremely unconventional. The end of the B section, however, has a very audible melodic peak that then descends towards either a repeat of the form (for improvisation) or a conclusion to the song.

Performer: Alessandro Roveri – Piano

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: Talon

The Missing Piece

(Modern/Classical – 2008)

The Missing Piece uses the octatonic scale, which is an eight-note scale of alternating half- and whole-steps. (The more standard scales and modes contain seven notes each.) It starts out in 7/8 time, an uneven meter of three and a half full beats. After moving to 3/4 time, effectively “losing” an eighth note, then moving back into 7/8, the “missing” eighth note is finally “found,” and the final sections of the work are in 4/4.

Performers: Bennett Lin – Guitar; Rob Keiser – Piano; Joanna Becker – Violin

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: The Missing Piece

Melancholy Wander

(Jazz – 2009)

This jazz ballad is in ABAC form. As the title implies, it is intended to be somewhat contemplative and meandering. Somewhat unusually for a ballad, it has a swing eighth notes feel, to keep the melody’s repeated notes from feeling stilted.

Performer: Alessandro Roveri – Piano

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: Melancholoy Wander

Fugue State in A Minor

This piece was the final assignment for a class on Bach, and I pulled the only all-nighter of my life to finish it. Hence the title.

Performer: Laura Brion – Piano

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: Fugue State in A Minor

The Minuet Formerly Known As the Minuet in D Minor

Originally written for piano, I moved this piece to E minor when I rewrote it for guitar and clarinet, so that I could use the full power of the guitar’s six strings on the last chord.

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: The Minuet Formerly Known As the Minuet in D Minor

Grown: A Song Written in Red Pen

(Pop Ballad – 2006, revised 2009)

Grown was composed while I was working as a math teacher under terrible conditions in the South Bronx. The lyrics reflect both despair and hope. The song was, literally, written in red pen—late on a Sunday night as I considered the coming work week and my seeming paralysis in the face of overwhelming problems.

Performers: Lauren Alfana – Soprano; Rob Keiser – Piano; Joanna Becker – Violin

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: Grown: A Song Written in Red Pen

Highway 62

(Country/Folk – 2007)

Highway 62’s title is an homage to Dylan’s classic Highway 61 Revisited. My song deals with similar issues of violent crises stemming from personal short-sightedness. The consistently bouncy, upbeat feel of the music stands in sharp contrast to the lyrics, which grow darker and darker as the song progresses.

Performers: Lauren Alfana – Soprano; Rob Keiser – Piano; Joanna Becker – Violin

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: Highway 62

Gemstones

(Romantic – 2012)

Gemstone is a string quartet in the Romantic/early modern style, drawing structural and tonal influences from the Ravel String Quartet’s 2nd Movement and from Chopin’s use of a chorale section in some of his solo piano works. However, it also includes some more modern metrical elements, beginning in a standard 12/8 but moving through 11/8, 10/8, 9/8 4/4, and even, briefly, 13/8.

WARNING: This track currently only exists in MIDI form. I hope to have a version played by humans available soon.

Right-click and choose “Save Link As” to download: Gemstones

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2 responses to “Matt’s Music

  1. John de Clef Piñeiro

    “Melancholy Wander” is simply gorgeous and perfectly performed by Alessandro Roveri. The spirit of Bill Evans lives!

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