On May 29, 2015, as part of the Composers Collective Spring Concert, Jason Wirth premiered my solo work for piano, Tombeau (for David Ward-Steinman). Dr. Ward-Steinman was one of the first people—along with fellow SDSU faculty members Joseph Waters and Brent Dutton—to encourage me to compose. He passed away earlier this year while I was in the midst of writing this piece, and since he was one of the first to teach me about 12-tone technique, I decided to dedicate the work to him. Thank you to Jason for his incredible playing, the Composers Collective for the opportunity to join their ranks on this concert, and to the staff of the National Opera Center for their support.
And like people we make mistakes. In fact, we make mistakes when we write music. Sometimes (and often I would wager) composers are not completely aware of what we’re doing when we compose. Sure, we set up structures, devise patterns, create systems and boxes for our music to exist in. But as of late, I’ve been finding that these tools we make and utilize in the process of composing are there to assist the composer, rather than the listener; and sometimes a choice made in our process that we might consider integral or pivotal to the work, is virtually–if not completely–imperceptible to the listener or the performer.