My creative work allows me to have my hands in a few jars at any given time. Here I’m hoping to dedicate space to major endeavors that are important to me—past, present, and future.
LETTING GO is an umbrella project—realistically, another not-quite-an-opus like Letters—that seeks to thoroughly explore the relationship (and distance) between composer and performer as well as the interpretations and miscommunications that can be conveyed through physical scores. It began with LETTING GO (off the cliff), written for trombonist John Pisaro as a piece that would be fluid enough to allow him the freedom to transition from one distinct emotional space to another in the span of a few minutes while retaining his control over that shift. Though each piece (to date) is written for a specific instrumentation, they can be easily adapted for any performer’s or ensemble’s needs. Electronics are strongly encouraged, but the works can also be performed completely acoustically.
“A young woman walks to her car after a late-night study session. A girl stands in the front row at a concert. A man catches up with an old friend. Four women are separated after arriving at a party. In each of these situations, something goes wrong. Each of these people falls prey to the same tragedy that strikes one in five college-age women, and each one must choose how to deal with the fallout and public opinion about their sexual assault.”
Letters from the Aftermath is a collection of works begun in 2016 that aims to bring compassionate discussions of sexual assault into the concert hall. It includes electronic, acoustic, and electroacoustic works that cover a wide variety of instrumentations and ability levels. The content itself centers around text, movement, and sound, acting as an intermediary for those who relate to the events described in each piece but perhaps are not comfortable sharing their experiences with others. The works that make up Letters lend themselves well to interdisciplinary collaboration with actors and dancers, but each can also hold its own in a conventional concert hall. Letters immerses concertgoers in what it means to be a casualty of sexual assault, opening minds and facilitating the discussions that are so necessary in today’s world.
face the mirror (March 3, 2019)
How does a sexual assault—or the people you tell about it—change how you see yourself? face the mirror, a new show devised and directed by trumpeter-composer Megan DeJarnett and choreographed by Sofia Klass, explores how one woman may (or may not) keep it all together in the wake of her trauma, whether it happened yesterday or years ago. The show delves into relationships between close friends, strangers, and the self through improvised and structured moments. face the mirror is a satellite project of Letters from the Aftermath.
face the mirror premiered on March 3, 2019 at the Roy O. Disney Concert Hall at CalArts.
Watch the Premiere
YOUR MOUSE GOD iS DEAD (March 3, 2018)
When I crafted my CalArts mid-residency recital, I wanted to honor the composer and performer I’ve been in the past while embracing the musician I’ve become since starting my graduate studies. Every composer on my program is alive and actively working in music, and each piece was less than five years old at the time of performance. Despite changes in my artistic preferences across the span of my musical study, my commitment to programming new works by a variety of living composers remains the same.
MOUSE GOD also marked my first foray into composing and presenting text scores: three of my own works on the concert (Your Mouse God Is Dead, CA-198, and Take What You Want) were composed entirely of text, with gestural instructions helping performers structure the timing of the pieces. As the written word is among my passions, working with text on such an intimate level allowed me to incorporate prose and poetry more closely into my creative process.
See the program of YOUR MOUSE GOD iS DEAD here.
Multifaceted (April 1, 2017)
My senior recital at Arizona State involved seventeen performers, seven pieces, and a lot of rehearsals. I selected works spanning almost the entirety of my undergraduate study and worked with some of my favorite performers at ASU. I’m also incredibly fortunate to have presented an interdisciplinary performance of Don’t Tell, the first installment of Letters from the Aftermath, in collaboration with actor Tess Galbiati.
I’m very lucky to have the freedom to make the work I enjoy the most without worrying overmuch about how I’m going to be able to afford to spend the time. I’m eternally in debt to the people who make this possible: my commissioners, who are too many to name; the folks who buy and perform my work across the country, who are quickly amounting to a small army, and the small but significant group of folks supporting me on Patreon. Many thanks especially to Alex Wilson, who joined the community very early on and is a steadfast advocate for my work.