September Music for flute, clarinet, violin, cello & piano


"[B]est characterised as an appealing confluence of the art music tradition with that … often syncopated style that Beck has made his own[.]"

- MusicWeb International

"[P]erhaps the most significant piece is ... September Music, where the syncopated rhythms blend with a tender melodic vein[.]" - Kathodik

September Music was composed August-November, 2002, in Louisville, Kentucky and was premiered by Pacific Serenades (Mark Carlson, flute; Gary Gray, clarinet; Roberto Cani, violin; David Speltz, cello; and Ayke Agus, piano) at the home of the film director Paul Verhoeven in Pacific Palisades, California, in February of 2003.

Recorded by IonSound Project in 2009 in Pittsburgh, it appears on that ensemble’s 2011 CD of my music, IonSound Project (innova 727).

Discussing "September Music" prior to a performance by the A/Tonal Ensemble in Louisville, Kentucky (June 6, 2015)

Discussing September Music prior to a performance by
the A/Tonal Ensemble in Louisville, Kentucky (6 June 2015)

This composition is in three movements, subtitled “Youth,” “Retrospect” and “Joy Revealed.”  It is a piece which doesn’t tell a story per se, but which had grown out of many of my thoughts and feelings at the time of its composition (early middle age).  In the first movement, there is a sense of the carefree, of limitless opportunity.  The music is mostly optimistic, although it is framed by a more pensive introduction, which returns as a brief coda: the present revisiting the past.  The second movement continues in this mood, one which reflects doubt, and asks many questions.

Finally, there is a sense of epiphany in the final movement, where the music rediscovers some of the spirit of the opening, albeit in a new context. The overall title of the piece then is not only indicative of the actual season in which the piece was composed (the fall of 2002), but also of my own, personal place in this world when I was commissioned to write the work by composer Mark Carlson, the founder and artistic director of Pacific Serenades.

flute, clarinet, violin, cello , piano
Date completed:
ca. 16:00

September Music, I. Youth

Pacific Serenades

Featured Recording

IonSound Project

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