63 Across 81 Down

Duration – 5’20”

Written – 2019

for Drumset and Tape

Influences – Mark Applebaum, Larnell Lewis, Kate Soper, and Jason Treuting


63 Across 81 Down, written for solo drum set and tape, was commissioned by percussionist Cameron Leach http://www.cleachmusic.com and was premiered at the 2020 Tutti Festival at Denison University.

The piece was translated from a crossword puzzle I spent time creating while home for a summer. The rhythmic and instrumental skeleton of the piece was generated by nothing more than the vowel and consonant information from each word and phrase in the crossword puzzle, 144 to be exact, 63 across and 81 down. Furthermore, there are embellishments and a tape track with clips of every word/phrase in the puzzle to emphasize or communicate with the sounds of the drum set. I have always been inspired by words and how equally mundane yet beautiful they can be in the right context. I wrote this piece as a way, not only to capture that inspiration, but to explore a new rhythmic language that only the words themselves could have helped me discover.