Almost an Island (2018)

stereo sound

Available on Currents (American Composers Alliance Recordings)


Compressed version available here.

Almost an Island comes from my visit to a wooded peninsula at a nearby lake. An early spring morning, the wind was up and driving small waves into the sandy shore at the tip of the peninsula. Such furious action, but somehow it sounded only in miniature and failed to disrupt the calm of the scene. The piece represents these small, but vigorous, waves in an imaginary close-up view, colored with superimposed harmonies. This vision clears briefly in the middle to reveal the natural soundscape.

All audio is from the recorded water, even when explicit water sounds are absent. Instead, spectral audio analysis of the water yields streams of notes that mimic the dynamic shape of the waves.


  • CECM Faculty Concert, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, 9/16/2023
  • SEAMUS National Conference, University of Virginia, 3/13/2020 [online only]
  • ICMC / NYCEMF, New York University, 6/19/19