Brass Knuckles

Pluck unifies two plucked instruments from across time -- the electric guitar and the harpsichord. In the first movement, "Metal," the two instruments engage in dialogue. The instruments in the ensemble alternately offer plucked support and non-plucked timbral contrast to the soloists. The second movement, "Echoes," is a ritual meditation on the B-A-C-H motive. The music gradually unfolds into a harpsichord cadenza that references the elaborative traditions associated with the instrument. The third movement, "Cadenza in Blue," features the electric guitar in its indigenous environment -- the blues. As the third movement progresses, different players from within the ensemble are given the opportunity to solo. In the final movement, "March," latent martial references bubbling under the surface of the music from the end of the first movement come to the fore. The electric guitar, harpsichord and ensemble march together to the end. This piece is dedicated to Ross Lafleur and Jung Sun Kang, who are my constant inspiration.

Pluck was premiered by the Eastman Composers Sinfonietta in fall 2007 with Ross Lafleur on electric guitar and Jung Sun Kang on harpsichord. Matilda Hofman conducted. Pluck was awarded a 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould award.

Click on one of the selections below to listen!


I. Metal
II. Echoes
III. Cadenza in Blue
IV. March

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