As a Composer
My work as a composer is driven by an interest in color, stillness, and space; and carries the intention of engaging the listener through the finer details of sound and resonance. My style is characterized by the use of soft sounds and extended periods of silence. I also frequently use sustained tones to bring attention to the overtones and resonant quality of the instrument(s). Recently I have introduced the element of electronic drones composed of sine tones, which would take the place of silence in my work.
My music has been performed in the USA and abroad, by ensembles such as the Capital City Symphony, TEMPO New Music Ensemble, University of Maryland Percussion Ensemble; and by individuals such as Maciej Frackiewicz, Evan Runyon, Carlos Cordeiro, Corrine Byrne, Natalie Spehar and Glenda Bates. I have received several grants from the University of Maryland in support of my work, and was a visiting composer to the UMD Department of Dance in 2013. In June of 2015, I performed Waterfall with members of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Magnus Lindberg.
My primary teachers have been Thomas DeLio, Paul Goldstaub, and Thomas Licata; with additional guidance from Jukka Tiennsu, Tomi Rasiaanen, Chen Yi, Alessandro Solbiati, and David Cope. Currently, I am working as a composer and sitarist alongside several talented musicians to introduce a new ensemble, Common Sounds, in June 2018.
As a Sitarist
In September 2006, I began my formal studies in Hindustani classical music with the late sitarist Roop Verma. Verma was an exponent of the Maihar tradition, having been a pupil of both maestros Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar. Additional, Verma was a renowned teacher of Nada Yoga (deep listening meditation), having studied extensively with such eminent teachers as Shri Bramananda Sarasvati and Swami Shyam of the Himalayas. In his own work, Verma combined this practice with the presentation of the classical ragas.
As a composer, I have been greatly influenced by both sides of Roop’s teachings. Learning about the slow exploration of notes through Alaap, with various microtonal inflection has been a driving force in my desire to write contemplative music. My meditation practice has brought me close to nature, and has helped to establish a link between it and my music.
I am on the faculty of the East West School of Music at Ananda Ashram in Monroe, NY; where I help to carry on Roop's vision by teaching regular sitar classes and occasional meditation workshops.