Blow It Up, Start Again​

3 O’Clock Mix

Sowing Useful Truths

De Profundis

The Americans

Across the groaning continent

Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City

Climbing Parnassus

My Hands Are a City


Avenue X

The Rivers of Bowery


As the scent of spring rain...


Uncle Sid

Moon by Night

OK Feel Good​


The Rivers of Bowery

an overture for winds, brass, and percussion
Duration: 3'
see also Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City

Commissioned by:
the Rutgers Wind Ensemble for the 2005 CBDNA National Conference, New York City

Picc, 2Fl, Ob, Bsn, CBsn, EbClar, 3Clar, BClar, SSax, ASax, TSax, BSax, 2Trpt, 4Hn, 2Trb, BTrb, Euph, Tba, Pno, 6Perc (2Glock/ Crot/ Mar/ Vibr/ Tri/ T-T/ TubBells/ WindCh/ SusCym/ RideCym/ 3TunedButtonGongs/ BD/ WBl)

Parts available for hire.

Score available for sale from OK Feel Good Music.

The Rivers of Bowery is an overture with a triumphant vision of the City as complex machine, capable of incubating the lowest in human nature as well as harnessing the best of Man's intentions. The title comes directly from Allen Ginsberg's glorious chronicle of Beat counterculture, Howl. Written in 1956, in a tenement about 2 blocks from where I live on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Howl celebrates the Beat counterculture by breathlessly rejoicing in the underdog grit of Ginsberg's beloved bohemia. The image is extracted from the line:

...who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery.

Ginsberg's river is a rush of people, and not the usual sunny city dwellers of an E.B. White essay or an O'Henry story, but his specific anti-community of the lost, the drugged, and the outcast. Ginsberg presents his city as possessing a triumphant spirit, neighbors piled on top of each other, never letting each other down despite being torn apart by society and by themselves.

Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City (2008-9) is a 3-mvt expansion of The Rivers of Bowery.

read a longer progam note with more background on this work in the composer's notebook

Download program note.

Recorded on:


Young Artists Wind Ensemble, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA, Conductor: David Martins - Jul 17 2016

University of Central Missouri Wind Ensemble, Tan-Tar-A Resort, Missouri Music Educators Association Convention, Conductor: Scott Lubaroff - Jan 29 2015

University of Central Missouri Wind Ensemble, University of Central Missouri Hendricks Hall, Conductor: Scott Lubaroff - Dec 04 2014