I have been composing (or at least trying to) since I was about 12 years old, and in the last 2 decades I have created a lot of music. While most of what I did at the beginning was horrifically terrible, each attempt was an exercise that allowed me to learn and hone my craft. The first pieces that appear in my catalogue are dated around 2006/2007 while in high school and early in my undergraduate degree.
I've written over 120 pieces since I started composing, and a good deal of those are saved for myself and shelved as juvenilia. But even to this day I (and any other composer who have tamed their ego) am bound to have duds and failures, but what I've listed here on this website are what I consider the best of those 120+ works.
From the earliest days of my composing, what I wrote came from a place of practicality, utilizing what was at hand and available to me. I wrote music for my musician friends, for my teachers, and my colleagues and myself -- regularly learning new instruments out of my own curiosity and in an effort to understand them and to compose more idiomatically for them. And within these limitations of practicality I could release my wild imagination, entertaining all the possibilities while still serving that principle function.
One of my compositional idols, 20th century German composer Paul Hindemith, wrote a lot of music of this ilk. He called it 'Gebrauchsmusik' or 'utility music'. Throughout my own body of work you'll see many of the conventional idioms and ensembles you'd expect, but it is also littered with works for unique and diverse ensembles. These unconventional pairings have been a breeding ground for creativity and experimentation, and I believe that comes from the concept of 'creative limitation'. This is the notion that when you are given or impose certain parameters or limitations the creative mind is forced to find new solutions or ways of thinking.
For someone like me that is sometimes exactly what I need to begin the process of creating. After 30 years of knowing and discovering myself and how I think and feel, I've learned that, like most people, there is a duplicity to my character. One side of me is impulsive and wildly imaginative while the other side enjoys puzzles, mathematics and logic problems. If not encouraged to pursue music by my teachers in High School I would have most likely ended up in engineering or building things. But instead I use my builder's mind to create musical structures.
Every composer must write their music, and the more we know about the creator the more we can understand their creations. The minds, ears, and hearts of all human beings inherently value that which is real and genuine, and truthful and that is what makes an artist or performer successful. It is that core belief that drives me to write the music I write, my need to genuinely express who I am and what I believe; and to also create music that entices and challenges the mind, taps the foot and tugs on the heart.