Honeybee Works (2010)
Honeybee Works (2010) is the name of as suite of four piano etudes, and was commissioned by Dr. Margaret Lucia of Shippensburg University and premiered for the 2010 Earth Day Music Festival there. I used some of the striking characteristics of bees as a 'natural' metaphor for each section along with both a particular technical challenge and formal harmonic/compositional issue, in the manner of the traditional etude. "Swarms" uses rapidly iterated clusters of 3-7 notes as both melody and harmony. “Honey” is based on 6-9 note sustained chords with combinations of 2nds, 4ths, 7ths. "Sting" is based on rapidly executed lines in step-wise motion contrasted with 'stinging' dyads and rapid ostinati; the perfect 4th is the core interval. "Comb," which takes the beautiful symmetry of the hive as a metaphor for expanding and contracting figures, begins at the center of the instrument. These rocking figures expand outward, contract and move variously through the range of the keyboard until the entire range of the instrument is sounding.