My Music

By Kathryn, May 11, 2009 10:00 pm

Note: All of my personal compositions have been copyrighted, but are not for public broadcast or circulation…yet. I am preparing to publish my work in order to make it more widely available. For now, please enjoy listening to these pieces, and feel free to send the link to those you believe will enjoy my music.




Written for and in collaboration with Peter Sheppard Skaerved, London, September 2009. Performed at Wilton’s Music Hall on September 13, 2009.


Written for harp; has not been performed live (yet). My goal here was to write a piece consistent in its movement but without creating a sense of hurriedness.

Bao Shi (Precious Stone)

Written for solo cello. The first piece I wrote without bar lines, and without a definitive key association. Performed by Sarah Davis at the “Cellaboration” concert in Nashville in 2008.



Written for traditional piano quartet – piano, violin, viola, cello. Dedicated to the most wonderful piano teacher I’ve ever had, Amy Dorfman. Written in collaboration with Benjamin Hart, Roberto Papi, and Tim Strang, during and succeeding the Collaborative Composition program at the Royal Academy of Music in London.


Toto, I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore…The First Day of Class

Written for piano and strings; has not been performed or recorded live (yet). Commissioned by Vanderbilt University to invoke the anxiety and excitement of the first day of classes. Mailed to all matriculating first-year students in 2007 and 2008.



One piece from a set of solo piano pieces called “Collecstiche.” I wanted the idea of a lullaby to be flipped–that is, rather than assuming this piece to be the song a mother sings to her baby, I wanted this piece to be considered from the child’s perspective of being sung to, drifting into and back out of consciousness, ultimately quieting into a soft slumber.


Jue Wu (Consciousness)

Written for solo erhu; performed and recorded by Chen Jun in Beijing, 2008. I wrote this during an intensive two-day collaboration period with Chen Qian, Resident Composer of the People’s Liberation Army. Once Chen Qian gave his stamp of approval, I was introduced to Chen Jun. Chen Jun graciously studied and performed the piece, within 2 hours. He showed me where within this piece my Western background is apparent, and where my stylistic writing for erhu is convincingly “Chinese.” I left the piece unrevised, that is, with the “Western” bits unchanged, because after all the duality represents exactly what I am – a Western composer writing for a Chinese instrument, not mimicking the traditional style per se but attempting to write idiomatically nonetheless.¬†Whether the piece sounds Chinese, or Western, is less important to me than the piece being convincingly “Kathryn.”


Tell Me Something (I Remember)

This piece is made from live recordings of piano, singing, and other instruments by various friends and peers, along with conversations, background noises in classrooms, and all mixed with electronically-altered digital sounds. The recording here is a live recording from the piece being played during my Senior Composition Recital in 2009.



For now, this is a placeholder title for a work in progress translating the myriad experiences I had while traveling as a Keegan fellow into a musical mirage. It will take years to synthesize everything, so this is just the beginning…


Piano Performances and Songs

Here are some recordings from various performances I’ve given since 2005.

“Pavane pour une infante defunte” by Maurice Ravel

An eternal favorite of mine, this wonderful piece by Ravel was recorded at my high school recital in 2005.


“Nocturne” by Jack Hawes

A great contemporary piece recorded at my high school recital in 2005.


You Should Know

A song I wrote and performed for piano and voice. Dedicated to my mom at my college senior recital in 2009.


Leavin on a Jet Plane

With only a few minor changes to the standard lyrics, which I found fitting for my departure to college, this was recorded at my high school recital in 2005.



What’s on My Playlist

A mix of some pieces that have played important roles before, during, and after my world travels from 2009-2010.

Home, by Michael Buble

M79, by Vampire Weekend

The Fear, by Lily Allen

Fall on My Knees, by Abigail Washburn

Ajab Si, from the Bollywood film “Om Shanti Om”

Rehna Tu, by AR Rahman/Delhi 6





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