for String Quartet
Inspired by the utopian community Aurora Colony established in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 1857, this string quartet is very much about the process of a simple perhaps old-fashioned idea (the founder's motto: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”) being transformed into something modern. A seed growing into an flourishing plant. Quietness developing into exuberance. A celebration of life; one lived within a community of equals.
Chara for string trio
An exuberant 9-minute piece for string trio.
Chara. Greek for “joy”. The joy of giving. Char-ity. The joy of performing chamber music with friends at Menucha. The joy of Mozart's finale to the Jupiter Symphony. Joy to the world! Thomas Merton's: “Is it not obvious that when we have this freedom [to rejoice in the good of another] happiness will not only follow as a matter of course: joy would pursue us everywhere and we could not get away from it….If we rejoiced in the good that is possessed by others…we would not be able to look at a flower or a blade of grass or an insect or a drop of water or a grain of sand or a leaf, let along a whole tree, or a bird, or a living animal, or a human being, without exploding with exultation.”
Written for friends to play at a benefit concert for the classical radio station in Portland, Oregon.
for solo violin
“John F. Paul’s Intarsia I [is] a bright and attractive five-minute work for solo violin. Interspersing vibrant, slashing dissonances with impetuous scale figures, Paul leads the listener through a clearly stated musical discourse.” (Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle)
“John Paul’s Intarsia I reaches back to the Old World to pay homage to the demonic fiddlers of the Gypsy camps who contributed a fierce virtuosity to Western music. It is a highly concentrated work [that] spins out its thematic content in rapid sequence, then circles back to embellish and develop it with artificial harmonics and double stops. It generates quite a lot of excitement in the process.” (Richard Chon, Buffalo News)