List of Compositions

Orchestra/Large Ensemble

Symphony of the Hawai‘i Forests: Reflections on Ka Wai Ke Kumu Ola (2023) Full orchestra

Tear of the Clouds (2022) 1011-0000-4221

Arrow of Time (2016) sinfonietta

Ripple Effect (2013) sinfonietta; (2015) full orchestra

Terra Firma (2011) jazz ensemble

Daydreams (2010) wind ensemble

Undercurrent (2010) sinfonietta

Sunrise From a Distant Past (2007) full orchestra

Concerto for Orchestra (2006) full orchestra

Seaching the Constellations (2006) full orchestra

Chamber, Solo & Duo

Stillness in the Mist (2022) violin duo

Koholā Sings (2021) solo harp

A Melody From an Unknown Place (2020) solo violin

Adaptation Variations (2019) fl, cl, hn, percussion, vln, vla, vc

Wavelengths (2019) fl, cl, vln, vc

But Beautiful (2018) koto and cello

Faded Aura (2017) shakuhachi, fl, cl, vln, vc

American Postcards: Picture Brides (Hawaii 1908-1924) (2017) string quartet (doubling on ukulele)

Sunburnt (2017) bassoon or saxophone quartet

Snapshots (2017) alto saxophone and bassoon

Reenactment (2017) gayageum and electronics

Crosscurrents (2016) shamisen and violin

Doublethink (2015) saxophone quartet

Iridescence (2015) solo piano

To A Balloon Laden with Knowledge (2015) SSAATTBB Choir

Conversations in the Garden (2015) viola, guitar, piano, sound installation

City of Imagination (2015) erhu, dizi, yangqin, sheng, pipa, guzheng

Taepyeongga (2014) ajaeng, ob. guit. pno. perc.

Of the Moon (2014) shakuhachi and koto

The Distance of the Moon (2014) shakuhachi, koto, and string quartet

Vanishing Act (2013-14) vln, piano, perc.

Secret Dimension (2013) cl, vln, vc, piano

A Glimpse of a Reflection (2013) guzheng and electronics

Trade Winds (2012) flute and piano

Across the Open Sky (2012) 2 violins, cello

Neon Flicker (2012) duo

Piano Trio (2012) violin, cello, piano

Palpitations (2011) alto saxophone solo

Afterimage (2011) cello solo

Parallel Divergence (2011) fl., b. cl., vln., vc., piano

Soliloquy (2010) piano solo

Intermezzo (2010) piano solo

Variations on a Theme by Brahms (2010) ob., c.a., cl., vln., vc.

Stargazing (2010) violin and electronics

Echolocation (2009) saxophone quartet

Event Horizon (2009) string quartet

Impromptu (2008) violin and piano

Automata (2008) piano solo

Sarcasms (2008) alto saxophone and piano

Toccata (2007) violin and piano

Delights and Shadows (2007) bass voice and piano

Recurrency (2007) cello octet

Imprints (2006) 2 pianos

Pins and Needles (2006) fl., cl., vln., vla., vc., piano

Sounds and Shapes (2004) fl., cl., vln., vc., piano, percussion


The Distance of the Moon (2014)

for shakuhachi, koto, and string quartet

duration: 10 minutes

See video of the performance:


Performers: Yoko Reikano Kimura, James Nyoraku Schlefer, Cassatt Quartet

Performance History

Nov. 23, 2014: Yoko Reikano Kimura, James Nyoraku Schlefer, Cassatt Quartet. New York, NY

April 5, 2014: Yoko Reikano Kimura, James Nyoraku Schlefer, Cassatt Quartet.


Program Notes

The title of the piece comes from a short story by the Italian writer Italo Calvino from his collection Cosmicomics.  In this ingenious story, Calvino takes a scientific fact – the Earth and the moon have slowly been drifting apart for eons – to beyond the threshold of reality, and imagines a time long ago when the moon was so close to the Earth that people could simply take a long ladder to traverse the two worlds.  The actual story takes place around the time the moon starts drifting just far enough away that the moon-crossing crew begins to have trouble going back and forth, sometimes getting caught hovering between the two worlds, and occasionally even getting stuck on the moon for weeks. 
While the story is refreshingly imaginative and inspired, my composition is not a retelling of the moon-crossing adventures and mishaps.  Instead, I found the premise of the story to be a great representation of how I could approach a work that used both traditional Japanese instruments (shakuhachi and koto) and the string quartet.  Historically, these two sound worlds have rarely interacted in proximity, but in this work, I wanted to imagine a musical language that would allow me to freely mingle and hover between the two, in the same way the characters in the story are able to freely move from Earth to the moon before the two drifted apart.  
This piece is written for James Nyoraku Schlefer, Yoko Reikano Kimura, and the Cassatt Quartet.