Omnivorous Furniture

$ 75.00

For Sinfonietta and Electronica - Proceed to purchase if you would like to buy a study score.  

Conductor's Score and Performance Parts for RENTAL ONLY. Please send an email to to request a rental application form.

Approximate Duration: 16'


Omnivorous Furniture exists at the junction between a world of morphing electronic beats - generally described as electronica - and the rich and varied textures of a chamber orchestra.

While these two musical spaces usually exist on opposite ends of the universe, my activities in both have convinced me of some pregnant possibilities. The thumping electronica beats of an underground club - which are other-worldly sounds to some listeners of acoustic, two-hundred year-old instruments - can provide an interesting stasis that an orchestra's myriad textures can explore. Some might even proclaim the orchestra the finest synthesizer ever made. This can create thrilling possibilities when paired with the rhythmic contagion of electronica.

The work is organized around several "omnivorous moments," when material previously perceived as background - the wallpaper or "furniture" surrounding the foreground material - ultimately consumes the entire texture. The fleeting pentatonic tune that opens the work, for example, is chased by a variety of staccato, pointillistic gestures that point the listener's attention away from any sustained notes. But these sustained notes in the orchestra begin to fuse together rapidly in the moments preceding the first climax, creating a sonic wall which shatters the beats that have dominated the first quarter of the piece.

The orchestral interlude that then ensues is a feature that reappears with greater significance. Indeed, the form of the work is quite simple: progressively longer orchestral interludes interrupt progressively shorter beat sections. Superimposed over this is the gradual elongation of the opening motive, from its bouncy and capricious first moments to its long, lyrical flowering in the work's core. This melody, having reached its expressive peak during the orchestra's longest escape from the electronica beats, then begins to dissolve. Pulled lower and lower by sliding pitch, it collapses into the work's final ambient space in a kind of chemical meltdown of pitch and texture. Flowering imperceptibly from this surreal ambient landscape, a reincarnation of the work's opening material swiftly brings us to the end.


piccolo / flute
Eb / Bb clarinet
bassoon / contrabassoon
trumpet (mutes: straight, harmon, solotone)
bass trombone
electronica (see performance notes)
percussion: xylophone, marimba, vibra-phone, suspended cymbal, splash cymbal, sizzle cymbal, finger cymbals, triangles (high, mid), tam-tams (small, large), chinese gongs (high, mid, low), crotales (with bow), bass drum
strings (one or two on a part)


All that is needed is a laptop, two speakers, placed on the left and right sides of the stage, and a few onstage monitors. Included with the rental of the materials is a download link for a simple software sampler that triggers the sounds from the laptop (an additional percussionist or an assistant conductor simply hits laptop keys at rehearsal numbers). The electronic component is simple, inexpensive, and designed to work within a compressed orchestral rehearsal period, and a 'live' version of the electronic part can be realized when the composer is present.