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Compositions

Please contact me at gregwatsonmusic@gmail.com for scores and commissions!

 

passing place

harmonium
10' 30"


passing place was composed for Jacob Mason. It emphasizes the drone stops, allowing for two separate sound worlds; that of the drones and that of the keyed notes.

four movements

toy piano
approx. 5'

four movements is comprised of four minatures for toy piano. these miniatures are designed to highlight the variance that can occur between different toy pianos. 

self portrait

piano
13'

self portrait was composed in January 2020 while procrastinating on a larger project. soft, floating harmonies explore various colors of the piano throughout all its registers.

folklore, and as follows

solo double bass
7"

folklore, and as follows utilizes two layers throughout the piece. the first is a constant tremolo on an open string, and the second is left hand pizz. these two layers occur simultaneously to showcase the differences in timbre and dynamic that are possible. this piece is meant to be performed freely, with no strict rhythmic indications.

for orchestra

orchestra
1"

this piece was composed for a workshop with Maria Schnieder. pieces were to be between 30-60 seconds long, and utilize the orchestra in a unique way.

haven't i been here before

solo baritone voice, piano acc.
6'30"

haven't i been here before was originally composed as a song in a singer/songwriter style for guitar and male voice. it was eventually transcribed for baritone voice and piano accompaniment and altered slightly to fit the art song style. it follows a form typical of most singer/songwriter songs and uses an original text in a similar style.

unless it keeps you up at night

solo piano
5'30"

this piece was composed in the summer of 2018 as a way to relieve the stress of finishing my thesis. it was then edited in the spring of 2019.

follows from

violin and mezzo-soprano
4'

follows from was written for Duo Cortona during their residency at the Frost School of Music. the text slowly develops a quote from Mark Twain, "the fear of death follows from the fear of life".

four textures for orchestra

full orchestra
13'

four textures for orchestra is composed in four continuous movements, each reflecting a different orchestral texture. these textures are loosely inspired by the paintings of Mark Rothko.

they can see inside, so we must draw the curtains

tuba/euphonium quartet
11'

they can see inside, so we must draw the curtains is a drone piece for tuba/euphonium quartet. Drone music is rarely explored through this medium, though these instruments can perform it quite well. The pitch material is very limited, and timbral variety is created through mouth shape, mutes, and extended technique.

recording coming soon

free verse for euphonium

solo euphonium
12'

free verse for euphonium explores the various timbral and dynamic possibilities of the euphonium in three movements. This is done through alternate timbral fingerings, soft dynamics throughout, mutes, and extended technique. These movements were written in the composer's bedroom between the hours of two and three in the morning.

hum

solo alto saxophone, saxophone quartet SATB
8'

Composed for Dougan Smith in 2018, hum attempts to draw life out of mechanical ostinati and repeated patterns. The soloist moves in and out of the accompaniment freely, and uses free improvisation of harmonics and overtones.

"even though it's all been unplugged, a constant hum"

recording coming soon

how to disappear completely

SSAATTBB, piano, electric guitar, vibraphone, bass drum
25'

how to disappear completely explores the necessary methods of completely removing oneself from their current life. These methods revolve around the larger ideas of thinking through the process of disappearing, making it so that you cannot be traced, and adapting to your new life. The individual movements within these sections discuss the specific steps required to do this. Spoken text is interspersed with sung text throughout the piece.
            This piece also discusses the various reasons a person may want to disappear, whether it be running from the law or an abusive relationship, or as an alternative to suicide. These different reasons warrant different approaches. Overall this piece attempts to reflect the moods and emotions a person who is considering disappearing may be feeling.

recording coming soon

music for liminal spaces

wind ensemble
9'


music for liminal spaces was composed in the fall of 2017. The wind band is known for it’s wide range of colors and timbres. music for liminal spaces focuses almost exclusively on that color palate, using various combinations of timbre to shape the form of the piece. A single melodic line flows in and out of the texture, interacting with textures surrounding it in different ways. music for liminal spaces swells and pulses within itself before ending in stasis. The idea of liminality is one that has been explored before by composers like Gerard Grise and Morton Feldman. These composers would often focus on changes within music that are barely perceptible, changing only slightly, and slowly. music for liminal spaces attempts to capture these same ideas and emotions, though scored for a larger ensemble. It is meant to explore music that is delicate, with patience and honesty.

the following is based on true events

trombone, piano, percussion
9'

the following is based on true events was written in the fall of 2017 for occasionalNoise Trio. This piece focuses on blending transients and color to play with texture. Many of the color variations come from the trombone, which makes use of different mutes and vowel shapes to blend differently with the other two instruments. The bowed piano is done with fishing line that has had a generous amount of rosin applied to it. While the trombone occasionally serves as a solo voice, the three parts generally work together with no voice dominating the others. the following is based on true events is meant to be spacious, intimate, and colorful.

everything (i have ever)

baritone voice, trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet

everything (i have ever) was composed for loadbang and premiered in June 2017 at the first Divergent Studio workshop at the Longy School of Music. The text follows a single sentence, "you are everything I have ever missed" and watches it develop slowly over the course of the piece.

seven years, counting

tuba/euphonium ensemble
3'30"

seven years, counting was written for the Illinois State University Tuba/Euhponium Ensemble in the Fall of 2017. I have found that much music written for the ensemble stays well within the realm of conservatism. While this is far from avant-garde, I wanted to write something that was musically interesting and still approachable from the ensembles perspective.

love made me

piano

4'30"

love made me is one of several easy piano pieces written in the summer of 2017. The name is a reference to Dante Alleghiri's Inferno from The Divine Comedy. The final circle of hell, according to Alleghiri, finds its victims encased in ice. Complete isolation is the final torture. The piece is meant to be representative of something repetitive, and ceaseless. love made me reflects on how often times our greatest sins are committed out of a place of love.