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Program notes

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The Rivers of Bowery
an overture for winds, brass, and percussion

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.


1861, a hymn fantasia for concert band - view note
3 O’Clock Mix, for school ensemble - view note
Across the groaning continent, from Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City - view note
As the scent of spring rain..., for wind ensemble - view note
Avenue X, for wind band - view note
Blow It Up, Start Again, for orchestra - view note
Blow It Up, Start Again​, for wind ensemble - view note
Chunk, a funk for winds and percussion - view note
Climbing Parnassus, for wind ensemble - view note
Concertino, for flute solo, chamber winds, and piano - view note
De Profundis, for massed winds - view note
Deep Sky Blue, for viola and piano - view note
Dohyci, miniature for violin and bass clarinet - view note
Lullaby for Munch in Hell, for saxophone quartet - view note
Metropolitan, for orchestra - view note
Milori Blue, for euphonium and piano - view note
Moon by Night, for band and optional chorus - view note
Moon by Night​, Anthem for SATB chorus - view note
My Hands Are a City, from Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City - view note
Nocturnes, for piano solo - view note
Ohanashi, for sinfonia - view note
OK Feel Good, for chamber group - view note
OK Feel Good​, for wind orchestra - view note
Practicing Joy, for percussion solo - view note
Prayers of Steel, for brass quintet - view note
Prelude on "Schmücke Dich", for organ solo - view note
Single, for wind band - view note
Sowing Useful Truths, for wind ensemble - view note
Stereo Action, for percussion ensemble - view note
Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City, for wind ensemble - view note
The Americans, from Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City - view note
The Vinyl Six, for mixed chamber ensemble - view note
These Inflected Tentacles, for marimba, piano, violin, and cello - view note
Tree, for string orchestra - view note
Uncle Sid, fantasy on a folk tune - view note
Verses from Solomon, for soprano and organ - view note
Vivid Geography, for women's chorus and chamber orchestra - view note
Wapwallopen, string quartet no. 1 - view note