Large Ensemble

Egyptian Ratscrew Fantasy (2016)

Conductorless String Orchestra:

8 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos, 2 double basses

Written for Kinetic Ensemble

While teaching at a summer music camp, I spent many of my nights playing the card game “Egyptian Ratscrew” with my faculty friends. Perhaps it was the rotational motion, the algorithmic quality of the rules, the unpredictable outbursts of players lunging forward to slap the pile of cards in the center, being amongst friends, or most likely, a combination of all of these components that compelled me to write a piece based off of the game. 

As a starting point, I wrote four melodic cells or phrases; each cell represents a different suit from the deck, and each suit is distinctly different from the other. Heart cards are played with glissandi, diamonds with short pizzicato, col legno, and harmonics, spades with sharp, accented attacks, and clubs with heavy double stops. Within each suit, the cards are differentiated based on the number of attacks. For example, the two of spades would be two sharp, accented attacks played by a section of the ensemble, whereas a seven of spades would be seven attacks. 

The piece is made up of seven sections or movements (listed below), each played attacca into the next. 

The Cards



Round One: The Game Begins

The Cellos Are Eliminated

Round Two: The Game Continues

Round Three: The Final Round 

-Tommy Dougherty, 2016

Particularly Competitive (2015)

Written for and performed by Alarm Will Sound

Live at the Mizzou International Composers Festival

July 25, 2015

Quartets (2014)

E flat/B flat Clarinet, 2 B flat Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Percussion 1: Vibes, Chimes, Glockenspiel, Marimba; Percussion 2: Xylophone, Vibes, Crotales, Marimba; 2 pianos, String Quartet

Recipient of the 2016 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award

Recording Info: Rebecca Tobin, Juyong You, Peter Jalbert, Andrew Sandwick: clarinets
Emily Uematsu, Giancarlo Latta: violins, Jarita Ng: viola, Antoinette Gan: cello
Jun Cho, Satoko Hayami: pianos
Dino Georgeton, Torrell Moss: percussion
Jerry Hou: conductor

Concertino (2013)

Violin Chamber Concerto

Andrea Jarrett, solo violin
Rebecca Reale, Heather Thomas, violins
Dan Wang, viola
Coleman Itzkoff, cello
Kelly Zimba, flute
Leah Craft, oboe
Sean Krissman, clarinet
Tommy Morrison, bassoon
Markus Osterlund, horn
George Goad, trumpet
Madeleine Doyon-Robitaille, trombone
Brandon Bell, Dino Georgeton, percussion

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