COMPOSITIONS

for SOLO / CHAMBER ENSEMBLES

Songs for the Weekend Traveler

for sax quartet.

Commissioned and premiered by 

New Century Saxophone Quartet.

Duration—16"

Before writing Songs for the Weekend Traveler, I asked each member of the New Century Saxophone Quartet to name one style of music that intrigued them. That genre became the basis of a movement featuring their instrument. Then I selected a fifth style (out of a hat) to highlight the whole band. Here’s how things developed:

I. 1000 Cathedrals (or so), featuring the quartet, based on German chorales.

II. Beads, Bourbon, & Binoculars, featuring bari sax, based on New Orleans second line parade music.

III. No Patios en los Patios, featuring alto sax, based on Cuban salsa.

IV. En Route to Edinburgh—Trapped at Carousel C, based on Scottish ballades.

V. Wedding Crasher, featuring soprano sax, based on Bulgarian wedding music in fast 7/8.

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SCORE SAMPLES

El Alacran
for euphonium and cajon/maracas

Alternate version featuring tenor sax.

Commissioned and premiered by Matt Murchison.

Duration—6”

 

Inspired by the thrilling rhythms of a folk band I witnessed in Bogota, Colombia. Though their compositions maintained a consistent meter throughout, the time always seemed to shift through a dizzying array of patterns. “Alacran” is Spanish for scorpion.

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Jabberwocky

for baritone voice with flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, and cello.

Commissioned and premiered by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.

Text by Lewis Carroll, from “Through the Looking Glass.”

Duration—20”

 

A fantastical and theatrical setting, the vocal part features a wide range of techniques including singing, speaking, Sprechstimme, effects, and beat box.  The musical backdrop is equally varied, including atonal counterpoint, tonal melodies, extended techniques, a 5-part fugue, and references to Renaissance drinking songs, gypsy dances, hard rock, Bach, and Broadway.

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LISTEN

Violin Concerto-esque 

for violin solo with avante-garde jazz ensemble (cl, 2 sax, tpt, tbn, guit, banjo, bs, and dr).

Duration—7”

Based on the final movement of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto, the individual personalities of the players in the band are allowed to shine until the group literally destroys the music and upstages the soloist.  The violin part is taken literally from Tchaikovsky.

Postcards
for solo flute. 

Published by Universal Edition.

Duration—5”

 

These four solo concert flute pieces all have some connection with jazz traditions and idioms.  They may be performed individually or as a set.  Each is dedicated to an influential flute player. When performed together, the order below should be followed:

 

I. Leipzigian Nights. For Mathieu Dufour. 

II. Pin-Striped Tomatoes. For Emmanuel Pahud. 

III. First Snow. For Emily Beynon

IV.  …And A Bottle Of Yarn…For Kazushi Saito. 

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Amsterdam.jpg

click to enlarge

A Night in Amsterdam 

for solo bass clarinet.

Featured at the World Bass Clarinet Convention, 2005 (Rotterdam, Netherlands).

Duration—6”

This virtuosic work showcases an enormous range of colors and techniques on the bass clarinet.

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Trunk Music

for piano trio (violin, cello, and piano). 

Duration—20”

 

This piano trio borrows stylistically from a number of musical traditions spanning the 15th Century to the present. For example, the fourth movement juxtaposes two elements:  Mille Regretz, a chanson by Josquin, and an original Irish reel. 

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Testimonials And Persuasive Secrets (TAPS)
for 10 trombones. 

Commissioned by the Brevard Music Center

Trombone Choir.

Duration—5”

 

Beautiful, haunting rendition of Taps.  

GOOD man, BAD shoes

for clarinet with mixed quartet

(bassoon, violin, bass, vibes/hi-hat). 

Duration—7”

 

Benny Goodman-esque, but with all the “wrong” notes.

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Vango Tan Gogh   versions:

  • Cello/piano

  • Euphonium/piano

  • Violin, accordion, piano, bass, drums

  • Full orchestra

Duration—6”

 

This offbeat, post-modern adventure is a far cry from traditional tango, but it does attempt to capture the passion found in this intense Argentinean dance style while touching upon elements of jazz, country and western, heavy metal, and classical.

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Nine Patch          

all versions may be performed with Indian Kathak dancer

  • piano solo

  • piano, bass, drums 

  • Pierrot Ensemble (fl, cl, pno, perc, vln, vlc)

Duration—20”

 

While the nine movements of this piece strictly adhere to traditional Indian kathak rhythms, the musical content incorporates Cutler's unique harmonies, melodies, and textures. 

Rhapsody in Purple 
for orchestra (3-3-3-3, 4-3-3-1, timp., 3 perc., piano, harp, strings) with piano solo.
brass quintet + piano version also available.

Commissioned and premiered by Ensemble Eclctica.

Duration—20”

LISTEN

A re-imagination of George Gerwhin's "Rhapsody in Blue," this version is more virtuosic and stylistically diverse. It can be performed with simple choreography to further engage and thrill the audience.

Midnight Dances

for sop sax, piano, and percussion

alternate versions substituting clarinet or tenor sax.

Duration—12"

Three contrasting movements inspired by various TANGO traditions. 

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Super Power         

for pianist and percussionist (played on a grand piano)

Duration—10”

 

While the nine movements of this piece strictly adhere to traditional Indian kathak rhythms, the musical content incorporates Cutler's unique harmonies, melodies, and textures. 

LISTEN

Current

for trumpet or euphonium and piano.

Commissioned by Adam Hayes.

Duration—10”

This piece takes listeners on a powerful, emotional journey. 

LISTEN

Gazebo

for woodwind sextet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bass clarinet, bassoon). 

Duration—20”

 

The five movements of this piece showcase each of the instruments individually as well as the entire ensemble.

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