Project Summary

A recording of various works for string orchestra by the New York Chamber Players conducted by Dongmin Kim, with guest artists Sam Nestor (trumpet) and Javier Oviedo (saxophone). Scheduled for November 2023.

The donation goal for this project is $15,000.00.

Project Description

The Mystic Trumpeter. As I observe American society fall apart at the seams, I find my thoughts often turning to the past, particularly to the time of the Civil War, as the unreconcilable divisions of those days and the societal ills that drove them are still with us today, creating similar divides. Such thoughts led to me browsing through the pages of Leaves of Grass, looking for poems that addressed the subject of our nation’s struggles and the delicacy of Democracy if not carefully tended.

Further searches on-line, trying to delve into Whitman’s life and times, led me to discover his poem, The Mystic Trumpeter. While not on the subject that started me down the road, the poem speaks to all of humanity, plumbing its heights and depths. After some consideration, I decided not to set the words as song, but rather to write a musical response to each of the 8 parts of his poem, this setting for trumpet and string orchestra. My mind filled with the vivid images in the poem, the music just flowed out and was started and completed within a week.

We Will Not Forget. It is the purpose of music, at least for me, to bring sounds into the world to heal, to bring solace, and as a direct antithesis to the murder of innocents that fill our history.

As I wrote the music, it became a piece of remembrance. We can never forget all those souls who were murdered. We can never let that loss be in vain and we must do everything within our power to prevent it happening again. People will
try. Those of us who can, must act to prevent them from succeeding.

Serenade. Originally composed for oboe and strings, after a hearing it beautifully performed by saxophonist Javier Oviedo, the time has come to record it.

When the war ends, we will dance again. A year of horrific war continues to weigh on my mind – and translate into music. So far, I’ve composed a setting of a poem yearning for Ukrainian independence by Taras Shevchenko, a single movement symphony for chamber orchestra, and a string quartet based on Ukrainian folk songs. Now this…

I wish for nothing more but to no longer feel compelled to write any more music while Ukraine suffers on.

As with my prior projects, this album will be self-produced and released.