“Resurgence” is a ten-minute master’s thesis compiled from a long list of unfinished ideas. Over the years, themes stacked up inspired by everyday events like a cat visiting, and running away. This post-tonal piece is currently a MIDI realization, and includes a score to follow along, if the listener chooses.
Resurgence (for Orchestra)
Keep reading for the original blog.
Twenty five years after I graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Music in Music Engineering Technology, I decided it was time for another degree! In 2013, I started Graduate Studies in Composition at CUNY Hunter College and received a Master of Arts in Music (composition) in 2015. This was something I always wanted to do since graduating from University of Miami, but first I chose to take several years of private composition lessons in the 1990s with Angelo Musolino and Peter Robles, and then some composition classes (1998-1999) at the Juilliard School with Stanley Wolfe, and a film music class (2000) at NYU. It wasn’t until I started teaching Digital Music classes at CUNY Hostos Community College in 2012 that I decided to pursue graduate studies, thinking that this might help me with my composing, teaching and new academic career.
My master’s thesis, Resurgence, is a ten minute work for orchestra. All of the themes were from my “pile” of unfinished ideas that I organized and developed to form this larger work. Some of the themes go back to when I used to live in Greenlawn, NY (Long Island) in the 1990s. The atonal section at 7:35 was originally inspired by a cat that used to visit my house (in Greenlawn) all of the time but would always run away from me. I would put out food on the porch and he would eat it, but he would never go near me! I created some fearful sounding music inspired by this cat and wrote “Scaredy Cat” on the top of the page; it then went into the “pile” to be long forgotten until the writing of this piece around twenty years later. I was so excited to resurrect it and all of the other long lost ideas. However, it was the most fun to fully develop the “Scaredy Cat” theme in particular, especially because of its history; I tried to make it as scary and dissonant as possible. Anyone who knows me knows I love cats. There are three cats living with me right now…
At the time of writing and orchestrating Resurgence I created a MIDI realization so that I could play it for my composition teacher (and thesis sponsor), Shafer Mahoney, and my post-tonal music theory teacher (and second reader), Philip Ewell. After hearing my first completed version, Shafer Mahoney suggested I add some more music to the ending which I did, but I didn’t get around to updating the audio until now, two years later.
Eventually, I hope to have an actual orchestra record this music. I’ve had the experience of replacing MIDI realizations of my orchestral arrangements with live orchestra before for albums I’ve produced, with overseas companies in Prague and Macedonia, and it always sounds a zillion times more emotional, real and beautiful, as the music was intended to sound. But until that happens with this music (it could cost at least $5000), this is the only existing aural representation of the score for anyone who is interested in hearing it.