» Music for Contemporary Dance

Music for Contemporary Dance

Acqua (2019)

cello octet (plus contemporary dancers)
14 min. 30 sec.

Acqua was conceived as a work for eight cellos (with musicians to be seated in a circular configuration), in collaboration with a small group of dancers.  The music’s formal structure draws roughly from Indian classical music, with a slower introduction section, followed by a more rhythmic section—with rhythmic patterns inspired both by Indian classical music, as well as by the music of Mali.

The piece is tied to the various states of water, beginning with ice: transparent textures, simple yet elegant ornamentation, plenty of space to breathe—melting into ripples, and agile layers of rhythmic energy and activity.  Then, there is the plunge into the climactic section: “Water is the driving force of nature”, wrote Leonardo da Vinci.  Water truly is the source of life, too—without it, we would not exist.  It is both a subtle and an incredibly powerful force.  Finally, the piece transforms into rising “vapour” at the end of the work.  Acqua is an exploration of extremes: an ode to the gentle beauty and power of water.

Acqua was written for and premiered by members of Allegra Chamber Orchestra (directed by Janna Sailor), and premiered at Notional Space, Vancouver, on September 15th, 2018, with dancers (directed by choreographer Linda Arkelian).

Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre:


Black is the Colour (2015)

solo cello
7 min. 

Black is the Colour was inspired by the Appalachian folk melody, “Black is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair”, and draws on this theme as the basis of a series of variations.  It also draws inspiration from the photography of Barcelona-born Canadian artist Tana (Tatiana Rivero Sanz), and was composed to accompany three contemporary dancers.

The piece received its premiere (with the composer as cellist), on April 18, 2015 at the Blank Tank Gallery in Gastown, Vancouver, along with dancers Linda Arkelian, Jessie Au, and Joylyn Secunda, to celebrate the opening of a solo visual art exhibition by Tana.

Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre: