Op. 1 – Biscayne Bay


  • Composed: 1978, revised 2006
  • Time: 12 minutes

Written during the hiatus between my Masters and Doctoral study, Biscayne Bay marks the place where I found my personal compositional voice, and it was for that reason that I later chose to bestow upon it the designation of Opus 1. I originally intended it as a Third Dance in American Rhythm, a sequel to the music which would eventually rework into my op. 4.

To this point, my use of popular music was more like an ethnomusicological study of a foreign culture. Reference was made to jazz and rock within the perspective of the contemporary serious music of the 70s. With Biscayne Bay, I realized I had crossed over into popular culture, and was looking back at serious music from the perspective of rock. I felt liberated by this breakthrough. For one thing, I no longer had to feel guilty about using tonality and I could indulge my sense of melody more freely here. I would suggest, though, that pianists wishing to sample my works start with the Book of Dances and Songs, op. 14 or the Piano Sonata, op. 22.