Statement of purpose
I am a passionate innovator in sound and story and seek to be a catalyst for creative change.
I am a thoughtful innovator, an intellectual nomad and an energetic creative who operates best in large scale collaborative works with choreographers, director, film makers and visual artists in creating lyric neo-mythologies for the contemporary stage and screen. My work is expansive and visceral, inspired by the harmonies of renaissance vocal works, improvisation in jazz and the futuristic world of music tech.
I spent years preparing myself in the theater, in dance studios, and with ensembles performing and touring in both new works and in classical repertoire. Inspired by my father’s record collection, I picked up guitar and began writing songs. Since then, I have released four albums of original compositions, published two poetry books, sung in operas, conducted choirs, lead jazz ensembles, rock bands and contemporary ensembles and I continue to sing in choruses and to improvise, compose and collaborate.
I grew up learning music by ear and rote from my father, a singer-songwriter and Irish tenor, and have a strong background in songwriting and folk music. I have toured India and Western Europe as a song collector, an artist and explorer, and have studied voice, composition and percussion with teachers all over the world. I observe and absorb their musical mythologies and aesthetics. I began working in recording studios at 16 as a songwriter and session vocalist and it was there that my love of music technology began.
I was a Presser Music scholar at Roosevelt University and am the recipient of four honorary scholarships at NYU in addition to being a Creative Career Fellow. I study, I write and I live music. I collaborate well with other artists. When I see concerts, I think critically about what I’ve heard and seen. I study scores, I transcribe, orchestrate and arrange music for a variety of ensembles. I write songs and practice my instruments (voice, violin, guitar, piano) every day. I connect with other artists and engage them in improvisations and discussions, in person and online. I produce my own audio, visual and written digital content and in this way create dialogue between artists in dance, theater, film, visual art and music. Most importantly, I am endlessly curious - a voracious reader, listener, observer and student of music, all forms of art, psychology and the future of AI and biotech.
I was directed toward Princeton by my teachers Joan La Barbara and Julia Wolfe. They both felt strongly that I would find a very compatible artistic home in Princeton’s ethos of aural exploration and deep interest in interdepartmental collaboration. After significant research, I have discovered in both fellow teachers and students, artists asking similar questions to my own and wanting to explore complementary territory in sound and story and cross collaboration in sonic mediums. I am interested in studying jazz and classical fusion with Dimitri Tymozo, improvisation with Rudresh Mahanthapa, multi-media electro-acoustic work with Dan Trueman and how to better integrate movement and text into music with Barbara White.. I am most excited by the space of emotionality and story-telling in the concert music of Princeton composers. The works I have heard and seen of the students and teachers at Princeton, fits very closely within my core values and interests a composer. I love working with words, story and theater. I love working with rock bands and pop production as well as chamber groups, orchestras and choirs. I am very quick to make connections between seemingly disparate music styles and art forms and I am quick to form ensembles and lead improvisations and group discussions.
I deeply appreciate the sense of community amongst the composer cohort at Princeton, and believe I would thrive in an environment of a small collaborative group of open minded composers. I like the idea of an open schedule with the ability to plan my own course work and consistently output a very high level of work. My brief time with Jenny Beck and Annika Socolofksky has given me a very good idea about the raport of Princeton students. I am looking forward to integrating myself into the Princeton environment. I want to work with school choirs, ensembles, the science department and composer collectives to add to the thriving community that is Princeton’s Graduate Music Department.
At Princeton, I plan to develop my orchestral writing as a tool with which to fully integrate the multi-media art forms. I want to create a full body of work, combining a deep knowledge of acoustic music and music technology to explore the role of concert music in the twenty-first century. I am looking forward to the opportunity to write for the New Jersey Symphony, the dance department, the science department, the Princeton choirs and the visiting ensembles in residence. The open collaborative spaces at the Lewis Center and the top notch facilities that would easily lend themselves to large collaborative works and are perfect for creative works outside of concert hall context. I am outgoing, I seek out collaborations and I believe I will work well at Princeton.