The Ten-Block Walk
(in progress)

Opera for five singers and chamber ensemble
Libretto by Christie Lee Gibson
Mezzo and SATB ensemble
Duration c. 60 minutes

Each block is a world and movement unto itself.

I. The Neighbor
II. The Major Intersection

III. The Pan-Handlers
IV. The Playground
V. The College Students
VI. The Pigeons
VII. The Graveyard
VIII. The Dunkin' Donuts Worker
IX. The Busker
X. The Arrival
VIII. The Dunkin' Donuts
IX. The Busker
X. The Arrival

SYNOPSIS By Christie Lee Gibson
The Ten-Block Walk follows Mrs. Otis across town as she journeys from her home to the local senior center. This is a piece about being present. About taking time and taking in your surroundings, and responding to them. About persistence in the face of pain and obstacles and handicap. About understanding that when you achieve your goals, often after great physical and mental exertion, it doesn't always look or feel like you think it's going to. It's about learning to accept that disjuncture and to pursue goals regardless and to enjoy the journey and what ends up happening through the continuous results of the effort.

Through her journey, The Ten-Block Walk addresses a number of "Scylla and Charybdis" human fears: fear of death and fear of the wearing down of the body that comes with aging, fear of the other and fear of being alone, fear of being taken advantage of and fear of not giving enough, of being in the way and of not being noticed. Our central character experiences all of them, but does not let them cripple her.

The Ten-Block Walk images from live performance

Surely Happiness is Reflective
(May 2009)

For women's choir and chamber ensemble
Commissioned by the Juventas New Music Ensemble and the Lorelei Ensemble
Text arranged from Christmas Prose by Washington Irving

4 Sopranos
4 Mezzo Sopranos

Duration c. 14 minutes

I Wish I Were Back in St. Louis
(November 2009)

For female voice and piano
Text by Shannon Rosa
Duration c. 5 minutes

The Year of the Serpent
(April 2009)

Opera for soprano, bass, SSAA chorus and pierrot ensemble plus percussion
Libretto by Shannon Rosa

Li Chi - soprano
Serpent - bass
Lotus - soprano
Lily - soprano
Iris - mezzo
Poppy - mezzo
Melancholy - puppet dog

Duration c. 60 minutes

I. Li Chi and Melancholy
II. Serpent's Entrance
III. Fight Round 1
IV. Dead Quartet
V. Serpent's Aria
VI. Li Chi's Sacrifice
VII. Fight Round 2
VIII. Skull Song
IX. Li Chi's Path

Li Chi, a brave and dutiful heroine, approaches the cave of a vile, virgin-devouring Serpent on a mission to return peace to her kingdom.  Having sworn to protect her village from the serpent’s control, she begins to set a trap to lure him from the cave, a plan quickly thwarted by his lustful hunger and cunning.  While in the throes of battle, four spirits of the Serpent’s past victims take the stage and tell their tales—each describing with care the circumstances that led them to the Serpent’s cave. Lily, the youngest of the spirits, tells about her life as a servant in the palace of the emperor, and how she was stolen away by bandits as a ransom to the Serpent.  Lotus, a beautiful princess with bound feet laments that it was her great beauty coupled with her lack of mobility that led to her capture. Iris explains how as the youngest of four daughters, her parents sold her to her death in order to provide food for their family, and Poppy, the oldest of the spirits, who has little tongue left for speech, explains the ancient ritual by which her family was selected to sacrifice a member to the Serpent’s lair.  In a dance both hypnotic and disturbing, the Serpent lures each spirit girl to her death by presenting her with a beautiful flower.  The Serpent’s rancorous laughter spreads throughout the scene as he steps forward to deliver a disturbing and powerful aria describing his rise to power by devouring each of the other creatures on the classic Chinese zodiac.  Li Chi, declaring that she could slay the Serpent with nothing more than a simple blade and a keen-nosed dog, counters him with an equally commanding tale of how she stood up to the royal guards in front of her entire village. In their last, great battle, Li Chi does not fall victim to the beautiful flower being offered by the Serpent but instead, overpowers him in a moment of willful bravery. After Li Chi slays the Serpent and frees the spirit girls from their confinement on earth, she makes the biggest decision of all: will she go home to the village and be hailed a hero, or travel on to other lands to seek out new adventures? 

A Protest
(December 2008)

For four women's voices
Duration c. 5 minutes
Commissioned by Anthology Voices
Text by Arthur Hugh Clough

Performed by Lorelei Ensemble

The Supermarket
(December 2007)

Excerpt 1 - "The Supermarket"

Excerpt 2 - "Ellington, Connecticut"
Excerpt 3 - Reprise: "The Supermarket"
Excerpt 4 - March
Excerpt 5 - "Sons and Daughters of Farms and Fields"

Excerpt 6 - Finale

Film score for chamber orchestra
Duration c. 20 minutes
Studio Recorded December 2007; Film released January 2009

Obsidian Mirror
(November 2008)

For string quartet
Duration c. 8 minutes

Two Songs on Poems by Adrienne Rich
(November 2007)

For soprano and piano
Duration c. 5 minutes

I. Fox

II. Implosions

means: the processing of
(March 2007)

For flute, piano, and loop pedal
Duration c. 15 minutes

I. at the point
II. meditation
III. Groove

(January 2007)

For soprano and piano
Text by the Grimm Brothers

Duration c. 5 minutes

Mello Techno
(November 2007)

Duration c. 2 minutes

(December 2006)

For wind ensemble
Duration c. 15 minutes

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
(July 2006)

For a capella SATB choir
Text by Walt Whitman
Duration c. 5 minutes

(August 2005)

For orchestra
Duration c. 5 minutes

humming and dancing
(March 2005)

For solo horn
Duration c. 5 minutes

The Elements

I. Burning Flame of Comfort and Destruction
II. Sheet of Placid Water Rippled by Wind
III. Embroiling Eddies of Winds

For flute, violin, and violoncello
Duration c. 10 minutes