Written in 2015 (Ocean Nocturne for Pablo Rodriguez), three movements, ca. 15 minutes.
I. Uphill (1:06) II. Plains (3:45 ) III. Downhill (8:24)
Written in 2014 for Nemanja Ostojic, three movements, ca. 9 minutes.
Nemanja likes to ride his bike.
“This piece was inspired by my passion for cycling, and I am very impressed by how Michael was able to translate the kinetic energy and momentum of cycling into the irregular rhythm of 7/8, which common to the music of the area where I grew up. Besides the driving force of the first movement, Uphill, and all the good “workout” that comes with it, I can also relate to the more serene moments experienced while cycling at a slower pace. The second movement, Plains, brings the feelings of a cyclist who slows down on his path to both admire nature and recharge before the last sprint. The rhythmic and melodic ostinati of this movement are reminiscent of pedaling motion. Though a slower one, it remains very determined and meditative, immersed in the outdoors. The spinning feel of the sextuplets of the third movement, Downhill, remind me of the accelerating wheel on a downhill sprint, but it is interrupted by a quasi rondo, with slow jazzy inserts that provide an excellent balance to the gravity-driven main theme.”–Nemanja Ostojic
Written in 2015, three movements, ca. 11 minutes.
Inspired by three paintings of Wassily Kandinsky: ‘Decisive Pink,’ ‘Blue,’ and ‘Several Circles.’ ‘Heavy Circles’ didn’t inspire any music, but I could not resist the title.
Five songs for high voice and guitar, ca. 12 minutes, written in 2014.
Setting of five poems from Robert Frost’s early collection “A Boy’s Will.” The poems are: My November Guest, Wind and Window Flower, Going for Water, Storm Fear, A Late Walk.
Featured in the February, 2016 issue of GFA’s Soundboard Magazine.
“The writing for guitar is superb. Very playable and sight readable. The harmonies and dissonances are beautiful…Good music doesn’t have to be difficult to play, just well written.”—Tim Olbrych
I. Swirl of Finches (Alan Rinehart)
III. Wind Musician
V. If Nothing Else
VI. Dreams Laid Down
Written in 2012 for Alan Rinehart, six movements, ca. 15 minutes.
Alan requested that the music be related to poems by his wife, Janice Notland, from her wonderful collection “Dreams Laid Down.” I chose six poems that alternate between shorter, lighter texts, and longer more serious ones, and the music follows this pattern. It was a real pleasure to work with such wonderful, colorful, evocative and heartfelt poems, and I’m grateful to Alan and Janice for trusting me with such a personal project.
21 short etude-like movements, total length ca. 27 minutes, written in 2013.
I had been writing evocative music for a while, and I wanted to get back to the more rigorous music I wrote as a student. And so, Sketchbooks was a deliberate exercise in developing small musical ideas, and letting purely musical considerations guide how the piece unfolds. I came up with about 30 short ideas, chose 21 of those to work with, and dove in. It was a really satisfying piece to write, and I think it changed me as a composer, hopefully for the better…
“Many of the sketches feature Karmon’s distinctive lyricism, while others may be dissonant and demented. Karmon’s writing maintains a hard to find balance between idiomatic guitar writing and composition that is independent of the guitar.”—John Oeth
Three movements, ca. 11 minutes, written in 2013.
This suite comprises three extensively revised movements from “Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other.” The music is certainly not perfect, but it is my most personal, and my favorite solo guitar piece.
For 10-string guitar (Yepes tuning,) written in 2012 for Jouni Stenroos, four movements, ca. 11 minutes.
I. I Split the Rock, II. And Calm the Sea, III. I Steal Your Light, IV. And Leave.
I was a bit apprehensive when Jouni commissioned me to write for the 10-string guitar. I figured I already have enough trouble with only six strings! But the Yepes tuning really opened up a whole new world of tonal possibilities, and writing for the instrument was liberating and something of a revelation. I hope I get more opportunities to write for it.
“La domenica mattina la passo a diteggiarmi questo bel pezzo! Un linguaggio molto fresco e, peraltro, con difficoltà tecniche ben precise: i suoi quattro tempi potrebbero essere degli ottimi studi… che alla chitarra a dieci corde, notoriamente, mancano.”—Leonardo De Marchi
Arrangements of “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Mood Indigo,” and “Prelude to a Kiss,” ca. 8 minutes, written in 2012.
“I love playing Ellington Suite! Great arrangements and extemporisations! A perfect synthesis of Classical & Jazz styles”–Lincoln Brady
Written in 2011 for NYC Duo, four movements, ca. 10 minutes.
Guitarist Michael Gilsinan asked for music that evokes the busy life of a musician in New York. I had recently visited the city, and I was able to draw on some fresh impressions as well as memories from my former life as a gigging musician. In the second movement I tried to capture the feeling of the big city melting away as you travel to Queens, and the third movement was especially fun to write, and is especially evocative for me.