Orchestral & Chamber Works
For solo organ (2015) was commissioned by Prof. Emeritus Calvert Johnson as part of the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale in Malta. The piece represents a dialogue between cultures, religions, faiths, and beliefs. This reflects the reality in Israel in which east meets west, theism meets atheism, orthodox meets secular, Jews meet Muslims and Christians, and Israelis meet Palestinians. My goal was to create a musical reality or musical space in time, which reflects reality with all its complex issues of relationships, disagreements, and genuine communication or miscommunication between the different parties through a complex harmonic language and intricate varied rhythmic figures. The dialogue in its most genuine way lives among us. Better to accept it than to fight with it. Premiered in Malta by Prof. Johnson on Nov. 28th, 2015.
Seeds of Hope
For nay (Middle Eastern flute), oud (Middle Eastern lute), and western symphony orchestra (2010/2011).
Seeds of Hope is an amalgamation of two different musical traditions, western classical and Arabic music, into a single cohesive work. The work is based on the Arabic Maqam system and its rhythmic structure Iqa-at. Unlike western music that is organized by half steps or half tones, most of theMaqamat include also quarter tones as part of their organizational structure. The modal conception and organization of melody is paralleled by a modal treatment of rhythm, which is named Iqa-at (singular Iqa). Each Iqa has a specific name and a pattern of beats ranging in number from two to twenty-four or more, and each consists of rests and beats distinguished by timbre.
Song of Songs, In the Garden of Delights
For female voice, flute doubling alto flute, harp, and two percussion players (2009). Text from one of the five scrolls of the Old Testament’s Song of Songs. The English translation was taken from The Song of Songs, A New Translation by Ariel Bloch and Chana Bloch. Song of Songs, In the Garden of Delights is a twenty-first century point of view of an extremely old love story. The text is organized as a palindrome, reflecting the organizational structure of the entire story, which is echoed within the music. The non-strict palindromic structure within the music is implemented only in the fourth part “consummation” emphasizing the highest vocal note in the entire work and creating a wedge around the word love, which is the real essence of the story whether it represents relationships between humans or humans towards God. Premiere by Rebecca Fadell, voice; Carlos Feller, flute; Mary Brigid Roman, harp; Daniel Lyons, percussion; Sidonie Wade, percussion; and Chris Burton, conductor.
As From a Dream
For flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2008).
The one movement work is characterized by many unexpected changes of textures, which make it very episodic. The different episodes are based on motivic manipulation of the original cell, harmonic, melodic, or rhythmic manipulation. The transformational process of the cells throughout the work leads back to the original cell at the end of the piece. Premiere by Jose Fernandez, flute; Shino Saito, clarinet; Yuyu Chu, violin; Julia Castor, cello; Matthew Skantz, piano; and Carmen Byron, conductor.
Theme and Variations
For solo piano (2008).
At that time I started to explore cellular rhythmic motivicism, which means small rhythmic groups that could be varied and developed by using simple procedures of permutation such as augmentation, diminution, extension and elision. In this way, a very small number of rhythmic ideas could engender enough rhythmic forms to sustain an extended composition. The piano’s low register is used in a melodic way just like as Lennie Tristano’s piano playing. Premiere by Doron Kima, piano.
For violin, cello, and piano (2007).
Kislev for violin, cello and piano is named after “Kislev”, the third month of the Jewish calendar. The number three is a recurrent theme in this composition. Primary, three refers to the three most common ways to initiate vibrations on a string in order to produce sound: bowing, plucking, and striking that originate a piano trio, which is the instrumentation of the piece. The piece starts in E and ends in Eb, which is the third step of the most common simple scale, C. I present the piano in three different ways, the conventional way, as a percussion instrument, and as a plucked string instrument. All three instruments pluck the last note of the piece, which is a perfect unison. Even though the piano is from different instrument family than the strings, they are all perfect equal voices of exploration. Kislev for piano trio was written during the month of Kislev. Premiere by Yuyu Chu, violin; Katie Geeseman, cello; and Eun-Hee Park, piano.
By Maurice Ravel, arrangement for symphony orchestra by Doron Kima (2007). Premiere by the Florida State University's Symphony Orchestra.
For woodwind quintet (2006) is a five-movement piece. At that time I was gradually attracted toward the Middle East’s musical practices like Maqam, Taqsim, Dastgah, Radif, and their melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic structure. The five-note motive of the first movement was taken from the Maqam Hijaz. Throughout the course of the piece I gradually introduce other Maqamat. The fourth movement imitates the improvisatory nature of Taqsim, which in many instances begins around the tonic note of the Maqam, gradually ascends and explores other Maqamat, and finally descends to the initial Maqam. Premiere by Daryl Thompson, flute; Derek Lenzen, oboe; Danielle Levine, clarinet; Jennifer Mammino, horn, and Eric Lutz, bassoon.
For flute and piano (2005).
This work shows why the concept of closely/distantly related keys is no longer in use. It explores the relationships between different keys showing that also the “distantly related keys” are actually very much closely related. At a certain point the piano is playing simultaneously in two “distantly related keys” while the flute explores another key, showing that the result is very harmonious and homogenous. Premiere by Karen McLaughlin, flute; and Luis Gonzalez, piano
Electro Acoustic & Film Scoring
Middle – East
Electro-acoustic 5.1 surround sound (2008).
This work basically imitates the sound of the Middle Eastern instrument called Qanun (from the Arabic word Kanun, which means rule, norm, principle). While there are different types of qanuns with different tunings, the quarter-tone qanun is essentially a zither with a narrow trapezoidal soundboard. Nylon or PVC strings are stretched over a single bridge poised on fish-skins on one end, attached to tuning pegs ate University.
Film score, collaboration with director Khen Shalem & producer Erika J. Havey (2007).
The music for the film was a natural growth from the meeting with Khen, in which he described the type of music he needs and gave me some musical examples. I came up with an idea for the theme during the meeting. At a later time, I developed it and arranged the music for the current instrumentation (flute, trumpet, violin, double bass, and piano). Premiere at the Student Emmy Award, the 28th Annual College Television Awards, Hollywood, CA
Electro-acoustic, collaboration with choreographer Rebecca Lee (2008).
I met Rebecca at the premiere of my piece Kislev for violin, cello, and piano. After speaking to her it was clear that we will collaborate in the future. I attended Rebecca’s concerts and rehearsals and the music for the Seasons is basically what I heard in my mind while watching Rebecca’s choreographies. Premiere by choreographer/dancer Rebecca Lee.
Blues for Bill
For Big Band (2006).
Blues for bill stands for Bill Peterson (my piano teacher at FSU) and Bill Evans. This piece is based on harmonic manipulation of Evans's piano voicings. Premiere by the Florida State University’s Big Band.
Morning In Tallahassee
Exploration of sixths, using the sixth as a generic pitch-interval. Premiere by Doron Kima, piano; Israel Neuman, bass; and Jonathan Oleyski, drums (2003).
This piece was written for the tour in Costa Rica. Premiere by Doron Kima, piano; Stan Piper, bass; and Clyton Rychlik, drums (2006).
Not As Before
Usage of rhythmic displacement. Premiere by Doron Kima, piano; Israel Neuman, bass; and Jonathan Oleyski, drums (2003).
Based on harmonic progressions that accumulate thirds. Premiere by Doron Kima, piano; Israel Neuman, bass; and Jonathan Oleyski, drums (2003).
This piece was written and dedicated for my wife. Premiere by Doron Kima, piano; Israel Neuman, bass; and Jonathan Oleyski, drums (2003).
Usage of evaded harmonic resolutions. Premiere by Doron Kima, piano; Israel Neuman, bass; and Jonathan Oleyski, drums (2002).