COMPOSITIONS by WARREN PARK

• SOLO PIANO MUSIC
• MUSIC FOR SMALL ENSEMBLES
• VOCAL & CHORAL MUSIC
• COMMISSIONS
ARRANGEMENTS

   
    Click on this symbol to see a 2-page sample from the middle of the score described to the right.    
   

Click on this symbol to hear a 1-1/2 minute excerpt from the piece described to the right. (1.2 MB mp3 file)

   
   
   
   

SOLO PIANO MUSIC

   
 

UNEXPECTED CHANGES RAG (Cat. No. p001) is a challenging but rewarding solo piano concert piece in semi-ragtime style. A great many of the ragtime 'conventions' are made use of but the harmonies, while accessible and interesting, are quite untypical for ragtime music. In short, the chord changes are 'unexpected.' There is a great deal of modern influence mixed in with ragtime rhythms and tricks. There is even a short quote, reharmonized, from the middle of the 'Entertainer' by Scott Joplin. Exciting and listenable for player and audience alike. Duration seven minutes.    
 

 

 

 

 

ANCIENT WINDOWS, six modern miniatures for intermediate pianists (Cat. No. p002). This is a set of brief modal sounding piano solos for players at intermediate level who like melodic character and moderately challenging rhythms. Entertaining and easy to listen to. Each tune is from 1:41 to 2:59 in length; total time is twelve and a half minutes.

   
  Medieval Song    
  On The Hillside, Morning    
  Music Box Waltz    
  Modal Myth    
  On The Hillside, Evening    
 

Country Dance    
 

RECOLLECTION, for solo piano, (Cat. No. p003) is a short piece that recalls times, people, events, nostalgia, memories that have drifted into the past. This is a piece that works well for memorial services, in addition to recitals and performances of all types. The music is wistful and bucolic, with a spiritual character.    
         
   
MUSIC FOR SMALL ENSEMBLES
   
 

SAILING THE SKY, WALTZING (Cat. No. e001), written for clarinet and piano, has a drifting, magical quality that is intended metaphorically to convey how it must feel as a bird to soar above the beautiful landscape and experience the exuberance and pleasure of that sort of freedom. It seems that waltzing is a natural and automatic expression in this setting, so that is how the music is set. There is a great deal of interesting modal harmony; the piano and the clarinet are parts that are co-equal in importance. Duration seven minutes.    
 

WOODWIND QUARTET #3, Newfoundland (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon) (Cat. No. e002). This is a serious and demanding four-movement piece for advanced players. The flute doubles on piccolo especially in the final movement. This is very accessible modern music that thoroughly explores the different color combinations that these woodwinds can produce. The harmonies tend to favor modal scales. A very rewarding piece to learn, especially good for players who enjoy showcasing their skills. This piece was written in Newfoundland in summer 1972, revised in 1978. Duration about twenty minutes.

   
    LEGEND for quintet (clarinet and strings, or clarinet and flute with strings, or brass quintet) (Cat. No. e003). The music starts slowly and evocatively and evolves through a series of sections that seem to unfold like the telling of a legend. The final section (the music is all one movement with no breaks) is like an exuberant country tune with shifting threes and two heavily featured. Colorful and mysterious and at times exciting. Duration approximately nine minutes. Temporarily out of print.    
 


version 1


version 2

GROOVE SURFING for violin, marimba, piano and doublebass or clarinet, marimba, piano and cello (Cat. No. e004a or e004b). At times modernistic and atonal with unusual cross-rhythms, and at times very traditional-sounding, this music explores a wide range of coloristic and stylistic possibilities for these four instruments, virtually never heard together. The sections (one-two minutes each) breeze by in a continuous wave of changes in character, as if a wide span of musical styles were being sampled. In other words, each musical character or "Groove" is heard for only a little while, as if the band is 'surfing' through many different grooves for fun. And it does sound fun for the listeners too. For professional performers who enjoy playing a variety of musical styles. Duration eight and a half minutes.    
 

MESMER'S WALTZ for Trombone, French Horn or Tenor Saxophone, Piano and Doublebass (Cat. No. e005a, e005b or e005c). Dr. Franz Mesmer is an early 1800's physician who experimented with the use of hypnotism as a medical remedy. His name originated the terms 'mesmerism' and being mesmerized. This piece has an old-fashioned feel to it, with mesmerizing flowing patterns that make good use of modal harmonies. It is a piece that Dr. Mesmer himself would have have appreciated. The trombone version uses the high lyrical range of the instrument quite a bit (the highest note is an octave above middle C). e005a: trombone;  e005b: French horn  e005c: tenor saxophone.

   
 

2006 Delian Suite contribution

SLIPSTREAM for Jazz Band (Cat. No. e006), clarinet, 5 saxes (2 altos, 2 tenors, bari), 4 trombones (3 tenors, bass), 4 trumpets, piano, guitar (optional), bass, drums. The musicians in a jazz band come from a lot of different backgrounds--in general they have been exposed to and have an appreciation for other styles that are not thought of as jazz. This is a unique piece of music that makes use of the instrumental skills of the players in ways that most jazz arrangements don't touch. It is a modern music piece, with a lot of jazz influence, but never follows the traditional jazz harmonies that standards use. The players are asked to remember their classical training some of the time, and to draw upon their appreciation of pop and contemporary music too. The whole multi-section piece samples a variety of styles and character, as if one idea causes more ideas to spring up in totally unexpected directions, like the flow of a slipstream of music. Melodic and exciting, dramatic and evocative, this piece has something for everyone. A treat for audiences and players both. There is a prominent part for the keyboard player, who plays acoustic piano most of the time, but on Mystery and Flashback shifts to the clavinova or synth keyboard, using the harpsichord voice. This provides some very unusual and unexpected variety as the sections play past. Duration approximately 20 minutes (but can be shortened by taking out individual free-standing sections).    
 

DARK INTRO - BIG BLEND    
 

SPIRIT WALTZ    
 

MYSTERY    
 

the 60's    
 

FLASHBACK    
 

MEMORY    
 

WIND-UP    
 

 

 

OLD AMERICAN MECHANICAL TOYS, Five Miniatures for Saxophone Quartet (Cat. No. e007)  Throughout the 1800's and early 1900's a variety of mechanical novelty toys were created by inventive craftsmen everywhere in the US. We can see them occasionally in antique stores and on programs like "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS. They are part of our American heritage and a source of entertainment for many generations. These five short pieces are not intended to convey the actual motions or behaviors of specific mechanical toys. The music is designed, instead, to bring to the listener's imagination some of the personality, attitude, and character the toys might project. What do they do, what spirit do they radiate? That's up to the listener to conjure up, and my music sometimes adds hints of Americana to help paint their images. Each toy has a life of its own for everyone to enjoy. I'm not positive, however, that they are all working quite right.    
 

OLD AMERICAN MECHANICAL TOYS I    
 

OLD AMERICAN MECHANICAL TOYS II    
 

OLD AMERICAN MECHANICAL TOYS III    
 

OLD AMERICAN MECHANICAL TOYS IV    
 

OLD AMERICAN MECHANICAL TOYS V    
 

 

 

MODAL MYTH (Cat. No. e008) from Ancient Windows arranged for Handbell Choir. This is a makeover of the intermediate piano piece that is part of the set called Ancient Windows. This arrangement is interesting in the way the sustained notes support the moving notes. I think it's a great effect. I hope that intermediate hand bell choirs will enjoy this short modal-sounding tune.    
  THE CASUAL OBSERVER (Cat. No. e009) (2008) for Trombone Choir. A short composition for trombone choir, the Casual Observer is a programmatic piece for people who like to use their imaginations. It begins with a slow intro that feels like someone (one person? a couple?) leaving home for a walk. Soon they are casually strolling down the avenue taking in whatever is around them without being absorbed by anything in particular. But soon things begin to attract their attention, and they become more interested and involved in specific things going on around them. By the end of the piece they have become wholly wrapped up in what they are observing, complete with emotional reactions and excitement. What do they come across on their adventures? That's for the performers and the listeners to decide for themselves. Written for thirteen trombone parts and tuba, divided into left and right choirs on stage. The music incorporates hints of jazz and blues amidst the always melodic and accessible 'audience-friendly' writing. This recording is a synth rendering with a variety of wind voices used, not just trombones, to help the listener differential the parts. (4:43)    
 

FROM LYDIA (Cat. No. e010) (2008) for Flute and Piano. This is a great show piece for professional flutists and pianists. It is based heavily on contemporary tonal harmonies rooted in the Lydian mode. This piece is very listenable, at first charming and evocative, then exciting. A slow intro leads to a slightly faster section in a lilting 5/4, concluding with a driving 6/8 rhythm that is reminiscent of an old English jig. Fun for players and audience alike. Click on the Listen button to hear a full studio recording of this music (8:31).    
 


(Two Cellos)
TAKING THE FIFTH (Cat. No. e011) (2009) for two Cellos. Taking the Fifth incorporates a variety of musical styles, some 'modernistic' and others more old-fashioned. Some of the transitions from one type of music to another are abrupt on purpose, like switching radio stations or i-pod tunes kind of randomly, as a special effect to add to the 'surprise' aspect. The title refers to the sound of the perfect fifth and some of the different ways it can be and has been used in music. I hint at some of them over the course of the music, including old English-sounding melody, non-classical styles, modern stuff, etc. Occasionally you'll notice quotes from music literature, played in the original form only for moments, then my own spin is added, twisting the quotes around fit them into the realm of my own writing style. This recording uses synth voices so you'll have to imagine what real cellos will sound like. Also, the harmonics do not play back as cello harmonics would sound. (7:24)    
 


(Cello and Bass Clarinet)
TAKING THE FIFTH (Cat. No. e011a) (2009) revised for Cello and Bass Clarinet. Basically the same piece with accommodations and slight changes made for the bass clarinet, e.g. tremolo 5ths instead of double stop 5ths. This version is slightly easier for the cellist to maintain intonation since the clarinet is a more stable reference.    
 


(Violin and Bassoon)
TAKING THE FIFTH (Cat. No. e011b) (2016) revised for Violin and Bassoon. New refinements and a whole different sound. Another version that adept performers will enjoy performing. (duration 7:27)    
 

DODO TITITE WALTZ (Cat. No. e012) (2010) for Flute and Guitar. This is a very lyrical and sweet tune based on a simple melody (Dido Titite) which is an actual children’s lullaby from Haiti. It means in French/Creole ‘sleep for little ones.’ This original arrangement based on the 4/4 nursery tune has been turned into a waltz, with a re-harmonization (new chords much of the time). This piece was written as part of a larger project by a dozen international composers all writing their own variations on Dido Titite, which is to be performed sometime later this year (2010) by a guitar and flute duo in Florida. This event will be a fund-raiser for Haitian relief. (2:30)    
         
   

VOCAL & CHORAL MUSIC
Perusal scores for vocal music are available for all choral directors.

   
 


Fall 1998

EVERYWHERE WILL BE CALLED EDEN ONCE AGAIN (Cat. No. v001) is a piece for SATB chorus and piano that lasts just under seven minutes. It is set to a poem by noted 20th Century visionary artist, Judy Chicago. This piece is rather challenging but not at all beyond the average capable church choir, especially once the singers are able to understand and appreciate (both aurally and intellectually) the unusual modal harmonies, which are logical and accessible when they are heard. It is a piece that audiences have responded well to over the past several years. The text is one of optimism and uplift, where the focus is improvement in the world and in people's lives.    
 


10/28/12

EVERYWHERE WILL BE CALLED EDEN ONCE AGAIN, sung by a larger choir. (Recorded Oct. 28, 2012.)    
   

MERGER POEM

And then all that has divided us will merge
And then compassion will be wedded to power
And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind
And then both men and women will be gentle
And then both women and men will be strong
And then no person will be subject to anotherís will
And then all will be rich and free and varied
And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many
And then all will share equally in the Earth's abundance
And then all will care for the sick and the weak and the old
And then all will nourish the young
And then all will cherish life's creatures
And then all will live in harmony with each other and the Earth
And then everywhere will be called Eden once again. © Judy Chicago, 1979

   
 

REMEMBER ME (Cat. No. v002) is a three-and-a-half minute piece for SATB a cappella, which also can be performed as a vocal quartet or octet. It is a piece designed to be used in a church service (such as a memorial service) or other setting to honor the lives of those who have passed away. This piece has proven to be a valuable and appropriate vehicle for many in their quest to come to terms with general and personal loss and tragedy in their lives. A very real part of the human condition is accepting and coping with personal loss and grief. Especially at Christmas time, which this piece adapts well to, feelings of family connection and the memories of those important people, especially family members, who are no longer with us often grow stronger. This piece is intended to be a comforting message to all (because everyone has experienced loss) told from the perspective of a loving spirit paying a visit at a family gathering. Duration three and a half minutes.    
   

REMEMBER ME text by Warren Park

Save my place at our family* table,
This empty chair will suit me well.
Now that I'm gone, I long to join you again,
Let me sit here a while with you.
Remember me, remember me,
I once belonged in this cheerful circle.
Remember me, remember me, I know every voice, every laugh, every smile--
and you knew mine.

Save my place at our family* table,
This empty chair will suit me well. It's good you've kept this joyous time revered, 
Even departed souls may join
this overflowing happiness. Remember me, remember me,
I long to share my song with you, This comforts me, this comforts me,
It pleases me to see your joy restored,
Save my place at this festive table,
My favorite chair feels safe and welcome.

Your lovely faces still shed warmth so easily,
I feel your love for me still freely flowing.
This bond among you grows ever stronger.
May you always stay close to one another,
May you know peace,
May you remember me.

*use Christmas if appropriate © 1998 Warren Park

   
 


for alto

THE RHODORA (Cat. No. v003a) is an 'art song' for alto and piano that celebrates an early spring flower, love of nature and respect for the maker of nature. It has modal harmonies, a timeless quality and a reverential character. The voice part is not very demanding and altos who have sung it appreciate the easy-going rhythms and technically light melody. But there is a great deal of emotional range that can be brought to it, to the enjoyment of both the performers and the audience. Duration three minutes. This version is for Alto (range: Ab below middle C through Eb above high C).    
 


for soprano

THE RHODORA (Cat. No. v003b) This version is for Soprano, two whole steps higher (range: middle C through high G).    
   

The RHODORA by Ralph Waldo Emerson

In May, when sea winds pierced our solitude,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a dark nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals fallen in the pool,
Made the black water with their beauty gay,
Here might the redbird come his plumes to cool
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! If the sages ask thee why,
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky.
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing
Then beauty is its own excuse for being,
Why thou wert there, o rival of the rose,
I never thought to ask, I never knew.
But in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self same power that brought me here
Brought you.

   
  A CRADLE SONG (Cat. No. v004) set for SATB choir with a soprano soloist and piano, is a piece celebrating children, especially to connection between a mother and her infant. The music is slow, reverential and spiritual, with some beautiful ebbs and flows. This music is appropriate for occasions such as Mother's Day, and Christmastime, when a specific baby is celebrated. The piano part is undemanding. Duration about five minutes.    
   

A CRADLE SONG text by William Blake

Sweet dreams form a shade, o'er my lovely infant's head,
Sweet dreams of pleasure streams by happy silent moony beams.
Sweet sleep, with soft down, weave thy brows an infant crown.
Sweet sleep, angel mild, hover o'er my happy child.
Sleep, sleep, happy child, all creation slept and smiled;
Sleep, sleep, happy sleep, while o'er thee thy mother weep.
Sweet babe, in thy face, holy image I can trace.
Sweet babe, once like thee, thy maker lay and wept for me.
Wept for me, for thee, for all, when he was an infant small,
Thou his image ever see, heav'nly face that smiles on thee.
Smiles on thee, on me, on all; who became an infant small.
Infant smiles are his own smiles, heav'n and Earth to peace beguiles.

   
 

(recorded 5/8/16)
GREEN LAUGHTER OF SPRING (Cat. No. v005) is a piece for SATB choir and piano based on a text by retired Minneapolis Unitarian Universalist minister John Cummins. Soloists are featured, especially soprano and alto soloists. The music is a celebration of the spiritual side of spring with very interesting modal harmonies and a colorful but non-demanding piano part. The music attempts to convey the awe and wonder of the world as expressed in the poem. Duration: 5:05.    
 

Green Laughter of Spring text by Rev. John Cummins

I am struck dumb with wild and wordless wonder
That on this planet, hurtling 'round the sun,
The green laughter of Spring rises to clothe
Our Earth through cell and seed and birth--
Eternally, in spite for winter storms and cold.
Through ages of fire and ice the flow of life
In countless deaths and multi-million forms
Has known the con-fraternity and miracle of birth;
This, my miracle, my resurrection of the flesh:
Too vast, too true for little creeds, is
Spring's unbridled mirth!

   
 

WITHIN YOUR EYES (Cat. No. v006a or v006b) for Soprano and Piano, or with additional C instruments (2 parts) and Bb instruments (2 parts)--this audio sample features this folk band arrangement. This original song is a very sentimental traditional-style song that hearkens back to the pop songs of the 1930's, and old English folk songs too. It is a tune appropriate not only for services and concerts, but for weddings too, either within the ceremony or afterwards. The style imitates traditional songwriting with some uneven phrasing and interesting patterns.v006a is in the key of G, high G is the top note in the range; v006a designates soprano and piano version alone, v006b has the additional instrumental parts mentioned above. Please specify the Key of G in which high G is the highest note for the soprano, or Key of E, where E above high C is the highest note.

   
   

WITHIN YOUR EYES text by Warren Park

1) How many shades of greens and blues reveal themselves when love is new?
And how many fragrances sweeten the breeze within our meadow by the sea?
All is in harmony, these blossoms and trees, tall grasses and reeds all agree--
They all seem to bow before you and me.

CHORUS:

Glorious skies shine over us, and joyous lives lie before us, Our hopes and hearts are aligned, within your eyes our love abides,
And our glistening future lies.

2) How many thousands of violets seem to know they encircle us like a dream?
And how do they already know our song, as boughs of linden leaves wave us on?

(second half instrumental)

CHORUS Repeats

3) (first half instrumental)
We are in harmony, surrounded by nature's garden of serenity.
This beauty in us forever will be.

CHORUS Repeats

4) Larks and warblers have raised their voices, the choirs of nature with us rejoice,
How freely the spirit so vibrant here anoints us with our own holy tears.
Living in harmony, we'll cherish the joy that joining our souls will be,
In blessing our bond the whole world shall see.

CHORUS Repeats

   
 

GEORGIA SAW THE BLUE LINE (Cat. No. v007) is a fairly simple song for women's vocal ensemble and piano. There are no accidentals included and no complicated rhythms beyond the occasional pair of 16th notes. The music remains three-part SSA until the last measure where it divides into six parts with three parts holding a single long note. Range is two octaves: 'G' below  middle 'C' to high 'G.' The piano part is moderately difficult. The text of the song is a poem honoring Georgia O'Keefe by Minneapolis poet Mary Junge.

   
   

GEORGIA SAW THE BLUE LINE text by Mary Junge

Slit of a doorway
into the tunnel
where souls traverse
to their final cradles.
Georgia saw
the lighter sky beyond,
so she didn't have to hurry,
could luxuriate
in the pockets of bliss,
could feed her third
ecstatic pilgrim eye
from her bulging
sack of colors.

Mary Junge  ©2004

   
 

THE UNIVERSAL BEAUTY (Cat. No. v008) (2007) for SATB Choir and Piano. The Universal Beauty is the quintessential Unitarian Universalist anthem, using part of a poetic, well-known writing by Ralph W. Emerson. It is medium difficulty with a great deal of exuberance, especially in the 'chorus' sections where the sopranos and alto are paired and tenors and basses are also paired in a flowing series of parallel thirds and sixths. This is a very enjoyable piece to sing and the listen to. This recording (until a live performance is recorded) is another synth rendering of the music, making use of four woodwind and brass voices instead of human singers. At least one can hear the flowing sixths and thirds that pairs of voices often employ over the course of this anthem-length choral piece. (2:41)

   
   

THE UNIVERSAL BEAUTY text by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Within us is the soul of the whole,
the wise silence,
the universal beauty, to which
every part and particle
is equally related,
the eternal One.

When it breaks through our intellect
it is genius,
when it breathes through our will,
it is virtue.
When it flows through our affection
it is love.

   
         
   

COMMISSIONS

I have experience writing for a variety of instrumental combinations and vocal settings. Whatever instrumentation you need can be accommodated. I am familiar with many types of music, so I am able, to an extent, to create music that imitates and is patterned after the style of music you want. If you have a text that you would like to have set to music for a soloist or any combination of vocalists, I will try my best to follow the guidelines and character you describe to me. If you have a special occasion or use for some music, I probably can adapt a new composition to match what you're looking for. Films or short videos with fixed timing limitations and specific cues can be worked with. Would you like to advertise a specific product? How about a catchy advertising jingle? I am flexible and can recreate a variety of sounds drawn from several musical styles.

If you prefer, you can spell out the instrumentation you want me to work with. Sax quartet? String quartet? Flute and piano? Brass band? Symphony orchestra? Clarinet sextet and women's trio? I can make use of whatever instrumentation you ask for. I will work with whatever time limits and number of sections you specify. Would you like to commission a piece celebrating the history of your town? Or honoring a specific person in your life? Perhaps you want to enable a new piece to remember your country of origin, making use of the folk tunes that originate there. Of course, if you would like to commission a new composition entirely free of limitations, if would be happy to oblige.

Commissions must be carefully discussed before they are granted. To the best of my ability I will work with you to plan out exactly what you wish to accomplish, and what I will do make those plans become reality. Commission fees are entirely negotiable, depending on the scope of the project, the amount of time I estimate will be needed and the timeline you need to adhere to.

   
   

ARRANGEMENTS

In certain circumstances, composers and songwriters find that they do not have the background or skill to write a piano arrangement or instrumental arrangement of their music. I can help you produce a suitable background harmonization for your song, following your chord progressions, scoring the music for the instruments you want. Sometimes this might mean actually leaving to me a lot of the decision-making about what the pianist or back-up players play. That's part of the job of the 'arranger' too--to act as a stand-in composer in certain situations. If you are not pleased what I come up with, let me know what you want and I'll change it as best I can. If there is a musical project that calls for expertise in a style that I am not familiar with, I may be able to refer you to someone else who is better suited to your needs. Fees are entirely negotiable depending on the scope of the project, the amount of time I estimate will be needed and the timeline you need to adhere to.