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nitwit, oddment, blubber, tweak


Composed in 2011

Duration: 10:00

Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano


When I begin a new piece, I often search for an extramusical stimulus to jumpstart my musical thinking. In the case of Nitwit, Oddment, Blubber, Tweak, my inspiration was a literary one. The four words of the title comprise the entirety of a speech made by a rather important character in a particularly popular book. I loved the idea

of juxtaposing four seemingly unrelated ideas and constructing a kind of dubious unity out of them, so I responded by composing four miniatures that run without interruption. For the character of each section, I again used the words of the title to spur my musical thoughts, but only in the most oblique ways. “Nitwit” is not about anyone in particular, nor is “Oddment” made of fragments of leftover material.


Nitwit, Oddment, Blubber, Tweak was composed for the inaugural 

New Music on the Point festival held on the shore of Lake Dunmore

in Vermont. The two weeks I spent there in the summer of 2011 were incredibly idyllic and inspirational, and I’m immensely grateful to have been asked to take part.



First Performance: March 9th, 2012

Goethe-Institut, Boston, MA

Xanthos Ensemble: Adam Eccleston, flute; Alexis Lanz, clarinet; Brenda van der Merwe, violin; Ashima Scripp, cello;

Eunyoung Kim, piano



Recording: March 29th, 2012, New Music New Haven

Morse Recital Hall, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Peng Zhou, flute; Ashley Smith, clarinet; Piotr Filochowski, violin; Joonhwan Kim, cello; Paul Kerekes, piano


Related Works:


Concerted Effort

Heloise and Abelard

Time Crunch

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