Continents of City and Love and Tidal, written 20 years apart, are both arch-form pieces scored for two pianos, synthesizer, string quartet, and doublebass. They both feature expanding piano lines that intersect and compliment individually expanding textures provided by the strings and synthesizer. Continents cycles slowly through four harmonic areas via a sort of structural counterpoint, achieving a finely knit fabric of understated sensuality. Tidal combines strictly notated music with measured improvisation.
Evaporated Pleasure is a fiery work for piano, four hands. Composed from an equal-tempered approximation of the harmonic and sub-harmonic series and multiple corrupted stochastic processes, it starts out almost hesitantly and builds to a wild, swirling barrage. The same duo (Cahill and Kubera) that performs it on this CD gave both its West Coast (San Francisco) and East Coast (New York) premieres in 2002.
Awakening at the Inn of the Birds, written for the FLUX Quartet, commissioned by the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts, Dartmouth College, is built from sets of rhythmic units that continuously change and develop. Using the instruments’ extreme dynamic levels throughout, the piece remains at a point of stasis. With its very first note, the music jumps out at the listener, and it remains there relentless to its conclusion.
As She Sleeps is a quiet, ruminative piano solo, a song without words, dedicated to the composer’s daughter.