YOU CAN ONLY (2017) for cello and synthesizer​

performed by members of Retro Disco at CCRMA stage 

EDGES (2015) for flute, organ, and electronics

premiered by Erika Oba and Julie Herndon, 2015

performed by Elevate Ensemble, 2017

(DE)ATTACHMENT (2015) for saxophone quartet​ 

Stephanie Neumann, soprano

Adam Hirsh, alto

Josh Marshall, tenor

Steve Adams, baritone

@Signal Flow Festival, 2015

These three etudes on displacement feature a light bulb "singer" and other relocated voices.


Music boxes are tiny containers of nostalgia, referencing music and memories far greater than themselves. For this project, I modified about 70 of these little instruments with grit from sidewalks and mounted them on light posts, benches, and bike racks in downtown Oakland. Collaborator Dan Gottwald built a corresponding multi-player thumb harp. 

For more music, check out             and see a see a more complete list of work 

WHY DID YOU DO THIS? (2017) for string quartet 

premiered by Majel Connery, 

St. Lawrence String Quartet,

and Rolston Quartet


​Domesticated animals communicate

through highly anthropomorphized

subverbal expressions. The extent to 

which we understand them depends

on our sensitivity and training. 


Melodies disintegrate, distort, and evolve as sonic and visual material. As the original songs are stretched, strained, and defamiliarized, new material emerges. The process balances on the cusp of control.

HOME ON THE FRONTIER 

(2015) installation @Megapolis Audio Art Festival



followed by piano contours that either matched or mismatched the verbal segments. Participants correctly matched the melodies with the phrase segments 80% of the time, suggesting a successful translation from speech to melody.
            This piece begins with a melody stated as a sort of prime. It is then stripped to its intervallic relationships, transposed, and, finally, silenced. To what extent is its verbal content sensed through these transformations?

A physical realization of memory, modeled from David Appelbaum's book, The Voice. While the words are barely audible, speech inflection shapes the musical material. Pitches emerge as speech slows. Words stretch lugubriously into tones and, eventually, song. 

Write a letter...


In (de)attachment, I consider the emotional geography of love and loss. Through the arrangement original vocal songs, I simulate the creation and storage process of memory and emotions. The players interact with these melodies in a variety of ways including improvisation, responding to text and graphics, and performing symbolic gesture. In this way, the songs become a vehicle for experience and a release into physical space.​

A pilot study by Herndon and Washburn (2016) showed that melodies can retain verbal content using Speech-to-Song Illusion (Deutsch, 1995). In this EEG/two-alternative forced choice task, verbal phrase segments were repeated to participants in order to create Speech-to-Song Illusion through repetition. Afterwards, excerpts of the phrase were played back, 

Follow Me

TRANSPARENTUDES (Can't ____ You) (2017) for percussion trio 

​premiered by Line Upon Line

@ CCRMA Stage 


 HERE

These edges are boundaries that may or may not exist, melodic fragments 

transplanted into instrumental, mechanical, and electronic "lungs." The hissing and popping electronics simulate a nervous system. The keyboard and sine tones support the breath-based flute melody. These instrumental voices breathe together, imitating and diverging from each other.


Recent Work

TO SPEAK (2018) for string quartet

​premiered by JACK Quartet @ CCRMA Stage 


FEAR AND FLYING

(2015) for clarinet, cello, and double bass


premiered by Gleb Kanasevich, clarinet; James Burch, cello; and Matt Kline, double bass

@soundSCAPE new music festival