CHAMBER AND ORCHESTRAL MUSIC

 
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The Missing was my first piece composed specifically for dance. Eryc’s emotions are raw and unpretentious. He is informed about the traditions, expectations, and languages of modern dance, but no heady agenda ever interferes with the emotional impact he wants the dance to make first and foremost. So I consciously relinquished the scholastic agendas I’d been exposed to in my education (and which I’d always rebelled against anyway) and sought out whatever would allow dancers to feel the journey viscerally - not cerebrally. For example, I committed to repetition in the base line and brought it way down low to reach the vibrations that only thick wires can hit your gut with. I was also very deliberate with the long-range crescendo and decrescendo of this piece; each section feeds into the next, ever driving, pushing, and climaxing. Eryc’s choreography transformed a muscular piano solo into a powerful experience.

After spending a weekend rehearsal retreat with the dancers of Eryc Taylor Dance, I observed modern dance is frequently adverse - if not afraid - to exploring stillness. To permit light to enter the density of all that movement. As a composer, that fear is very relatable. In reaction, I wrote Song for Cello and Piano to inspire and encourage choreography to breathe and contrast all that go, go, go. My goal was to compose a piece illuminated by a shimmering faraway light that slowly nears closer and closer as the duet progresses.

Eryc Taylor Dance commissioned a 12 to 15 minute piece as the second of seven parts in his E A R T H project. I knew the scope and length of this project required something big. Without the resources to pay for a full orchestra and recording studio, Earth Creation became my first composition produced in a digital medium. I wanted dancers and listeners to experience the contrast between the catastrophic collisions that formed Earth and the serenity and beauty of a landscape relatively stable enough for mammals to evolve.

Funded by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Marta Heflin Foundation.

The subject of Part Four of Eryc Taylor’s epic E A R T H project is the rise of human civilization. After I pinpointed that the commonality of all successful ancient and modern civilizations is the ability of humans to sacrifice personal needs for the greater good, I launched this piece with a noble French Horn solo. Paralleling the gradual development of civility within culture, this melody gradually adopts a stricter meter as order is cemented, growing contrapuntally. In the middle segment, I contrasted the nobility with a march of progress, marked by a strident feeling of inevitability, even at the expense of human rights and nature. To reflect civilization, I deliberately grounded this music in classical tonality, abandoning modern academic dictates of musical “modality” - or lack of it.

Funded by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Marta Heflin Foundation.

 

IN PROGRESS: “Mother Nature Sends Warnings” commissioned by Eryc Taylor Dance.

IN PROGRESS: “The Lure” commissioned by Eryc Taylor Dance.


 AUTHORSHIP

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THE NEXT by RAFE HAZE

Writing under the pen name Rafe Haze, Daniel was a Lammy Finalist for best Gay Mystery in 2015 for his debut novel “The Next,” a tale of a deeply depressed New Yorker who works his way to the light by investigating the mysteries of his past and his courtyard neighbors.

Possibly the best book I’ve read in years.
The initial frenetic, unpleasantly acerbic state of our narrator has its origin in a damaged past which is unveiled little by little throughout the book. The sympathetic cop who reaches out to him has his own complex reasons for the way he is, and the chemistry of those two characters together - which encompasses both recognition and acceptance of each other’s weaknesses as well as their strengths - is unbelievably attractive. The mystery itself is beautifully constructed and interlocks seamlessly with the story of our protagonists’ lives - the one story line moves the other forward in a very natural way, leading both to quite satisfactory conclusions. This was the surprise read of the Awards for me, and it is undoubtedly a winner. I look forward to reading more from this author.
— Lambda Judge
 
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Be Still Be Silent

by Daniel Tobias

Full-length play in one act.

Careers and friendships careen near cliffs when autism collides with professional theater. A compassionate but realistic conversation that we must have now, wrapped in high comedy.

Readings to be announced...

 
 
 

SERVICES

You can do much more than you’re doing now.

Let me help you get to it.

In the pursuit of creative self-reliance I’ve developed specialized skills adjacent to music composition and writing. I offer these services to artists, performers, and producers: