Complete Works


Full Orchestra


Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra

A concerto in three movements that features the versatility of the trombone in tandem with the orchestra.

Instrumentation

Denali

In July of 2019, I participated in the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival conducting program in Fairbanks, Alaska. During my two weeks there, I studied and performed a variety of repertoire ranging from Mozart to Brahms with some amazing musicians. During our weekend break, I took a trip to Denali National Park with some of my colleagues at the workshop. As soon as we arrived, I was immediately struck by the beauty and magnitude of the park. Aside from one small dirt road and the occasional rest station, it is completely untouched by humans. The landscapes in the park are beautiful and bountiful stretching out for miles of wilderness. The entire park seemed to hum with life at every angle. And soon after venturing in, the scenery inspired a melody, which soon after transformed into a tone poem depicting my journey through the park.

Instrumentation

The Little Bird From the Mountains

This piece depicts the flight of a bird in the Swedish mountains on a sunny morning. The theme is introduced by the piccolo and gradually builds as the orchestration grows little by little throughout the piece.

Instrumentation

Meraki

Meraki is a Greek word that roughly translated means “a love for doing something”. It is usually referred to in the context of cooking, making a home, etc., but in this case, I applied it to music-making. I composed this piece for the Triad Area Medical Orchestra, a community orchestra based in Winston-Salem, NC. They are a brilliant group of volunteer musicians who excelled exponentially in their musical skills during my time as assistant conductor, and then music director. I composed this piece to showcase not only their abilities but also their unfiltered enthusiasm for music-making.

Instrumentation

Sol

Sol is the Latin name for the Sun. This piece depicts the rays of the sun at various times of the day. Sunrise is portrayed with a slow theme in the lush strings and solo woodwinds, afternoon is portrayed in a dance inspired by romantic ballet, and long colorful rays of sunset is portrayed with the full orchestra, slowly fading out to only the uppers strings and harp as the sun disappears into the evening sky.

Instrumentation

Symphony No. 1 – “Autumn”

This is my first foray into composing a full length, multi-movement symphony. The piece was composed over the course of roughly a year and draws inspiration from many sources. The name “Autumn” is taken from a poem of the same name by the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. I originally used the text from this poem to compose a piece for SATB choir. The themes from this piece are used as the basis for the 2nd and 4th movements of the symphony. Coincidentally, most of the symphony was composed during the Falls of 2016 and 2017. This piece is dedicated to my teacher, mentor, and friend, Christopher James Lees.

Instrumentation

String Orchestra


The Journey of a Dream

This piece is an exploration on how a dream goes from fantasy, to the anxiety of implantation, to reality.

Instrumentation

Wind Ensemble & Concert Band


Italian Polka (Rachmaninov)

Sergeii Rachmaninov’s Italian Polka, originally composed for piano four-hands, arranged for Concert Band.

Instrumentation

Sky Race

Our story begins in the far distant future, in a city that miraculously floats in the sky, filled with technology beyond our wildest imaginings. Every year, this city holds a week-long festival of merriment and gaiety that concludes with the highly anticipated city-wide race. Racers from all over the city spend months constructing elaborate racing machines and honing their skills, all for the chance to be crowned this year’s winner. And this year, there is a newcomer to the racetrack, a scrappy youngster who has poured every bit of their soul into a modest and carefully constructed racer. With elbow grease, duct tape, and a prayer, they’re determined to win!

The piece begins on the day of the race. All the streets are temporarily closed except to those heading to the starting line, and the sidewalks are jam-packed with cheering people who are anxious to see their favorite racer cross the finish line. Woodwinds rip across multiple scales while brass and percussion honk out many different timbres, representative of the joyful din that is race day. The racers take their mark and our protagonist takes their final checks before the starting beacon. Finally, with a unison rhythm played across nearly the entire ensemble, the starting bell is heard, and the racers are off!

The racetrack starts as a simple straightway, represented by the soprano sax and E-flat clarinets solos. But before long, our protagonist dashes by a group of their fellow supporters, represented by the flutes and sleigh bells, who are relentless in their support for the youngster.

Then, the track starts to get very treacherous as the road narrows and becomes very winding, represented by the uneven time signatures and complex scales in the full band. Amid the action, our protagonist has an idea. Carefully timing the turn into the next straightway, the racer activates a very special tool they have been saving: TURBO BOOST! The racer whooshes into the front of the pack and makes some great distance from the other racers.

They have a brief moment of repose in the straightway as they look out at a beautiful view of the city, represented first by the English Horn and muted trumpets followed by the full ensemble.

Finally, they see the finish line. Now is the time to focus. Now is the time to win! They notice behind them that some of the other racers have nearly caught up to him. The crowd is getting louder as the finish line gets closer. And just when things are so close that everyone’s breath stands still, our protagonist dashes across the finish line with the slightest edge on those behind them, winning the race! The piece ends with their vehicle screeching to a halt, represented in the piccolo and percussion, and as gently as a suddenly breaking racer can be, bumps into a padded wall to come to a full stop. The vehicle is definitely on the verge of collapse and disrepair, but our protagonist has never felt better!

Instrumentation

Chamber Music


Autumn

Based on the poem “Autumn” by Alexander Pushkin, this piece explores the complex emotions associated with the changing seasons.

Instrumentation

The Bounty Hunter – version for saxophone ensemble

I originally composed “The Bounty Hunter” as part of a composer residency during his time at Appalachian State University. Collaborating with the ASU Saxophone Ensemble, he composed a piece intending to showcase nearly every member of the saxophone family from soprano to bass. In addition, Daniel also drew inspiration from video game music, providing the 6/8 – 2/4 rhythmic groove that the piece is based on. A few years later, I created another version of the piece tailored for clarinet ensemble.

“The Bounty Hunter” is also loosely based on Miss Fortune, a character from the video game League of Legends. She is described as beautiful and dangerous. Using her wit, grit, and two pistols, she traverses the high seas seeking out wanted men and collecting their bounties.

Instrumentation

Score and parts available for purchase through T.U.X People’s Music


The Bounty Hunter – version for clarinet ensemble

Instrumentation

Score and parts available for purchase through T.U.X People’s Music


Lullaby

A short, sweet, and blissful piece for brass quintet. The lush harmonies and mostly hushed tone of the piece create a peaceful soundscape.

Instrumentation

Score and parts available for purchase through T.U.X People’s Music


Parisian Lights

Walking down the streets of Paris, one sees many sights, hears many sounds, and smells many smells. Street lights, street musicians, bakeries and more. This piece explores all the sensations of exploring the city of lights.

Instrumentation

Quintet in A Major (Schubert)

Franz Schubert’s famous “Trout” Piano Quintet in A major, arranged for wind quintet.

Instrumentation

Starlight

This piece uses the lush sounds of the string quartet along with the glockenspiel and vibraphone to portray twinkling stars in the night sky.

Instrumentation

Piano


Photographs

In the Fall of 2013, Daniel Bukin collaborated with the Appalachian State University Women’s Theatre Troupe to design sound and compose original music for their premiere production of “The Most Massive Woman Wins” by playwright Madeline George. The play follows four women of different sizes and shapes who are sitting in the waiting room of a liposuction clinic. The play explores issues of body image as each woman has her own unique story told through monologues, scenes, and poetry.
“Photographs” is a piano transcription of the original underscoring, specifically to one monologue in which one woman reflects on her life by viewing photographs from her childhood and early adulthood. The scene is filled with equal parts nostalgia and pain; a complex cocktail of emotion as she moves from one vignette to the other. Daniel reflects this in the music by moving nebulously from one key to another as each image changes. The ending of this piece is shortened to more appropriately fit a concert performance.

Score and parts available for purchase through T.U.X People’s Music