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the process of composing has informed practically everything I do in music,..It is the lens through which I approach all other music.

Composing is something I’ve been doing ever since we had a Tandy 8000 EX (or something like that; my brain doesn’t remember numbers) and, at age 9 or so, I would write these crazy unplayable compositions in the computer that sounded cool—or probably like amphetamined-up Mendelssohn, if I’m being honest. I truly wish I had those old floppy disks today, not that anything could read them. 


Anyway, the process of composing—of coming at tones from the (seeming) inside out, writing down only what I “hear” internally (whatever that actually is, and wherever it actually happens)—has informed practically everything I do in music, and given me a tangible, deeply-felt understanding of the holarchy of materials and structures in any given work. It is the lens through which I approach all “other”* music. 


Music runs through my head all the time; it's all I can do to still the flow. When I compose, it seems as if I just dip into that stream and write it down to the best of my ability, only later being saddled with the task of naming the piece.  Sometimes the title comes quickly; sometimes it takes quite a while. I just listen to the music internally, and then listen to what words/ideas/images come up, and at some point something intuitively strikes me as "right".


Usually there isn't any extra degree of association or "program"; it's just tones and their relationship to one-another through time. This is my process as best I can put it.


*in quotes because, in the moment of perceiving/observing “my” internal music, it is as objective as when I am looking at (and, therefore, hearing internally) anyone else’s.


Michael Sheppard: Kaleidoscope (2013)
Sheppard- Let Beauty Awake
Mad World Fantasy

Compositions & Arrangements


Solo piano

One True Water’s Heart* (2000)

Transformations* (2000)

    1. Allegretto
    2. Vivace
    3. Adagio
    4. Lento; presto

Fairy Tale* (2001)

On the Beach of True Water* (2003)

Invitation to Travel (2006)

Fantasy and Fugue on Themes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2008)

Mad World Fantasy (2011)

Kaleidoscope (2013)

Ballade/Sonata (2017) (two movements)

Flute and piano


Legend (2001)


Continuum* (2003)

Piccolo and piano


Enchantments (2006)

    1. Rivers

    2. Far-Away Spaces

    3. Summon the Fire

Clarinet and piano


Labyrinth* (2001)

Solo cello

Voyage* (2003)

Violin and piano

Let Beauty Awake (2003)

Solo marimba

Fractions of Light (2010)

    1. Sounding

    2. An Open Field Above the Stars

    3. Ancient Music

Violin, cello, and piano

Piano trio (2006) (three movements)
*piece still in manuscript form, i.e. not yet put into Sibelius or any other notation software.

Baritone and piano

Claritas (Song Cycle) (2015-16)

    1. Bird-Understander (Craig Arnold)

    2. Wings of a God (Denise Levertov)

    3. The Red Wheelbarrow (William Carlos Williams)

    4. Claritas (Denise Levertov)

Mezzo-soprano and piano


Prologue (Clive Barker) (2007)


The Day is Words and Rage (Clive Barker) (2010)


Vocalise (2012)

Solo guitar

Crystal Memory (2011)


Saxophone and piano


The Lake at Dreamer Circle (2008)


Piano four-hands

Hymn to the Outshining Brightness (2004)*


Solo piano

Mendelssohn violin concerto, last movement*

Mendelssohn piano trio in C minor, first movement*

Dvorak piano quintet, “Furiant” movement*

Three songs by Samuel Barber*
    1. The Daisies
    2. St. Ita’s Vision
    3. Nocturne

Three songs by Francis Poulenc*
    1. C
    2. Il vole
    3. Priez pour paix

Johannes Brahms “Unbewegte laue Luft” (song)

Flute and piano

Grieg piano sonata, op. 7, second movement*

Saxophone and piano

Chopin impromptus nos. 1, 2, and 3

Piano trio (violin, cello, piano)

Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 (complete)

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