Pathways IV: Rhymes & Spirals

Complete Work Title:

Pathways IV: Rhymes & Spirals

Performance Medium:

solo piano and chamber orchestra: flute (dbl. piccolo and alto flute), oboe (dbl. English horn), Bb clarinet (dbl. Bb bass clarinet), bassoon, F horn, Bb trumpet, tenor trombone, tuba, 2 percussion, 2 violins, viola, violoncello, contrabass.



Date Composed:

October 2023 – June 2024


to Heidi, Gabriel, and Maxwell


  1. Descent — Fragmentation
  2. Uprising — Malaise
  3. Transmission — Response — Skirmish (Cadenza)
  4. Interregnum — Breach — Plus ça change (Coda)

Additional Information:

Composed for pianist Redi Llupa.


Pending availability.

Program Note:

Begun in 1993, Pathways is a series of works for solo instrument and chamber orchestra which consists of a single, fixed accompaniment in the ensemble through which each of the featured solo instruments traverses a unique path. To date, four iterations of the work have been composed, featuring trombone, percussion, soprano saxophone, and piano. The conceptual metaphor for Pathways is that of a traveler and his/her unique and personal relationship with the surroundings on any given journey. Though a single road may be taken by several individuals (or by the same individual on different occasions), the various experiences and responses to the particular environment may differ substantially. Such factors as the time of day, climate, or the traveler’s mood may have a profound effect upon the experience and consequent response of the individual. In the Pathways series, the ensemble acts as a sonic landscape through which the soloist (i.e., the traveler) wends its way. Because the solo part is intended to reflect the unique “personality” of the particular featured instrument, these may differ from one another substantially, to the extent that each section within the work as a whole may be directed (and subsequently perceived) in a number of different ways, thus influencing the dynamic unfolding of the overall work.

Pathways IV: Rhymes & Spirals was composed in 2023-24 for pianist Redi Llupa, and is intended as a commentary on the political and cultural events in the United States (and elsewhere in the world) over the previous decade. The title refers to the cyclical nature of political ideologies, global pandemics, social movements, and the disruption to the prevailing order associated with these phenomena.