Hello.  Here you'll find my original compositions.  You can hear each piece by clicking on "listen" and see the score by clicking on "see."  Most were written using Finale on a Dell laptop parked next to my 1907 Baldwin upright.  (No MIDI interface on that!)  Much of what you hear are computer approximations using synthesized or sampled instruments played back using Finale with Garritan VST Instruments and converted to .mp3 through Audacity.  The intent is so you'll hear "sort of" what they might sound like when performed by live musicians.  But there's no substitute for real people playing real instruments, so let me know if your group would like to play any of these tunes.  Contact me for the individual parts at no charge.  You're free to print and play any of my music, but if you do I'd love to hear about it.  Thanks for visiting.  

Contact:  raulkottler@gmail.com 

Acylindrical Helix (flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, trumpet, horn, timpani, strings - 5'14")  "listen" "see"  A helix has a constant angle to the horizontal.  "Acylindrical" indicates it has no fixed center axis.  This piece resolves to a-minor throughout (analogous to the constant angle) but it has time, tempo, and instrument variance (analogous to no fixed center). 

Adventitious Buds (flute, oboe, english horn,  clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, two horns, trombone, tuba, timpani (four kettles), piano, strings - 7')  "listen"  "see"   They're the little buds that grow below a wounded or cut branch. Metaphor for perseverance, tenacity, regrowth after tragedy.  Also new friends made after a loss (best buds, hey bud how ya doin', buddy can you spare a dime).  Inspired by William Carlos Williams' The Locust Tree in Flower.  The sharp, short chords indicate injury but at least one instrument continues its sound through the insult.  New instruments enter in small clusters, slowly consolidating the ensemble.  Mysterious unorganized rumblings permeate as the underlying tissue regroups.  Further wounds test the organism.  Piano's regular sixteenth-notes coordinate progress.  Tympani solo announces a breakthrough.  Yet another trauma, but a quick cure precipitates the final major chord.   You can also see the scrolling score at YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3bv55xsNLc&feature=youtu.be

After Ojai (string quartet - 4'18")  "listen" "see"  For weeks after the Ojai Music Festival the local oaks and sycamores resonate with Adams ostinati, Lygeti texture, and Messiaen birdsong. (Finale 2010)

Alliance (violin and viola - 2'20") "see"  See/hear the scrolling score at https://youtu.be/5tB-oVKkr4A

As Was (solo jazz piano - 3'9") "listen" "see"  But is it really jazz?  What is jazz?  What do genres really mean these days?   You can see the scrolling playback at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlqmXhRT_xU

Aurora (Dawn) (flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, trumpet, horn, timpani, strings - 3'12")  "listen" "seeA lone flute gently signals the impending sunrise.  Soft lower strings awake with minor harmony.  Oboe objects.  Other woodwinds argue groggily.  Brass complain.  Tympani tries to referee.  They all finally resolve and exult as the sun appears.  Intensity rises as the sun soars to a new day!  (Um, maybe that description is a little too dramatic.)

Be My Honey(bee) (SATB, tuba, 2'17") "listen" "see"  A jazzy tune for choir and tuba.  Performance suggestion:  Tubaist tubist Tuba player can wear a bee costume (a la John Belushi), or at least the antennae. 

Bevanesque (solo piano - 5'11") "listen"  "see"  Bevan Manson is a great pianist and composer; both jazz and classical.  Here's a piece in which I try to blend jazz and classical, inspired by one of his recent recitals. It's being performed here by Finale 2010b through the Garritan Steinway VST.   

Bonneville (string orchestra - 3'24")  "listen" "see"  I wrote this after seeing a documentary on the salt flats.

Brief Time in a Vast Space (mezzo-soprano and classical guitar - 9'11")  "listen" "see"  

'Cellegro for Dr. Foy (cello and piano -2'02") "listen" "see"  Dr. Janice Foy is a fine 'cellist  who's been a great encouragement to me.  You can learn more about her at http://www.bravo-la.com

Emma Wood (string quartet - 5'25") "listen" "see"  It's the name of a beach up the coast from Ventura.  I spend a lot of time there so it must have influenced me.  Prominent viola part.    

Folk Song Stew (string quartet - 3'14") "see"  How many can you identify?  Turkey in the Straw, Simple Gifts, Boil Them Cabbage Down, Wabash Cannonball, Orange Blossom Special, Shenandoah, Arkansas Traveler, and Shave and a Haircut.  Scrolling score is at https://youtu.be/TzPExVGiHA8

Fugue for Four Fine Friends (string quartet - 3'00") "see"  Not to be confused with "Fugu for Four" on the Sushi menu.  Scrolling score is at https://youtu.be/qcLcmj5RH8I

Glass Is Melted Sand  (string quartet - 4'05") "see"   You can also see and hear the scrolling score at YouTube:  https://youtu.be/30svhFM9ZW4

Good Grief, Raul!  "see"  Not a composition.  Well, it sort of is.  The teacher gave us a melody and we had to harmonize it and analyze the chords.  That which looks like a European seven is actually an "F" (and not the musical note F!).  I transferred to mechanical engineering soon after this.

High Flyin' Flag "see" Not music, but a prize-winning essay I wrote about a childhood musical experience.  Teachers have such a huge influence on us.  

Horse_ebooks (solo alto voice and piano - 2'01") "listen" "see"   This is a work-in-progress pending authorization from the lyricist.  Check out twitter.com/Horse-ebooks. 

Hyperbole (solo piano - 3'48") "listen" "see"  How do you pronounce it?  Performed by Finale on the Garritan Steinway VST.

In Autumn (string quartet - 4'35)  "see"   Here's the link to the scrolling score:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb-dpL0x6jQ

In the Piano "see" Not music, but a short story I wrote where a Chickering has a major role.

Into Dense Air (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano - 5'40')  "see"   Here's the link to the scrolling score:  https://youtu.be/1b2ItBE0NJY

Jocularity (string orchestra - 3'52") "listen" "see"  Listen for contrasting melodies in different keys.

Katrina's Request (vln 1, vln 2, vln 3, vln 4, vla, cello - 2'53") "listen" "see"  Katrina requested something with solos for each fiddle.  Ventura College Chamber Group played this in December 2010.

Kubla Khan (SATB - 4'24") "listen" "see"  My music to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem. 

Lantana (solo piano - 4'12") "listen"  "see"  Performed by Finale on the Garritan Steinway VST.

March (string orchestra - 3'25") "listen" "see"  I always wanted to be in a marching band, but they didn't have violins in the marching band.  So I wrote this, even though it will be hard to march while playing it.  Ojai Sinfonia played this in Nov '08 (while seated).

Maroon (violin and cello - 2'07") "listen" "see"

Melon Collie Waltz (string quartet - 1'56") "listen" "see"

Misadventures 'neath a Cloudless Sky (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, tympani, strings - 4'54") "listen"  "see" The rambunctious introduction punctuated by bass pizzicati and percussive outbursts leads an array of feisty phrases until the tympani demands calm.  The pleasant melodies in the second half are ultimately overcome by the intro's dissonant reprise.

Oaks at Gloaming (string quartet - 3'00") "see"  Short but dense. See/hear the scrolling score at  https://youtu.be/iXV3j5oVTS4

Observations on the Ventura Pier (SATB choir and string orchestra - 7') "see" "lyrics"   I previously wrote the string quartet "The View from the End of the Pier" and subsequently expanded and added lyrics.  You won't hear actual words being sung (just ahs) so look at the scrolling score at https://youtu.be/lvPQMrMD66Q.  The sustained tones about two minutes in are background while kids shout out various sightings.  This might go well as a multi-media event accompanied by pictures of the pier and its surroundings. 

Old Garden (string orchestra - 4'40") "listen" "see" Ojai Sinfonia played this in Nov '08.

Pentacle (string quartet - 2'47") "listen" "see"  What can you do with just five notes?  And how long will you wait for an e-minor chord? 

Perche Mi Piace (string quartet - 4"28") "listen" "see"  I was going to abandon this as being too trite, but then I decided not to "because I like it."  (That's what the title means.)

Petrichor (string quartet - 4'35") "see"  It's the smell of rain after a drought.  See and hear the scrolling score at

Pittosporum (piano, bass, drums - 4'54") "listen"  "see"    How do you pronounce Pittosporum?  You'll hear options at about 3'15".  It's a pretty shrub with a funny name.  This performance is by Finale 2010b.  Maybe someday a real combo will play it.

Raquel's Interview:  "listen"  Not a composition, but an interview with my mother about early days of the Tango.

Sequoia (string quartet - 4'43") "listen" "see"  After a visit to the redwoods in 2007.  Foothill String Quartet played this at a museum reception in Dec '09.

Slow in Six (string quartet - 2'45") "listen" "see"  I like slow.

Snake River (string orchestra - 4"25") "listen" "see"  After a visit to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming in 2008.  Don't let the chorale-like intro fool you; this snake will bite!

Sorta Kinda Gypsy-ish (violin and cello - 2'48") "listen" "see"  I believe the title is self-explanatory.

String Quartet Suite 1 (string quartet - 13'35") "see"  This is a pdf of the combined scores for Petrichor, In Autumn, and Glass Is Melted Sand.

Stringmobile - not a composition, but a picture of a decorative use for used strings.  "see".  Cuerdas viejas need not die.  They can evolve from performance art to visual art (and thereby stay out of the landfill).  As the assembly hangs in my office, I see color, texture, form, space, shape, and line, plus the added value of memories of performances (including a few wrong notes) continuing to resonate.  And, like a stalactite, it grows every year, as it’s augmented by the veteran Dosorela string quartet retired from my viola.  (I originally wrote: "Hanging in my office, I see..." but that may have been misconstrued.) 

Tango (string quartet - 1'42") "listen" "see"  Saludos a los Argentinos!

Tango Para Dos (violin and cello - 1"56") "listen" "see"  The same Tango, but arranged for violin and cello.

Tango Pa' Mis Primos (piano - 2'44") "listen" "see"  Para mis primos estudiando piano en l'Argentina.  Pero mira, che, que no te lo hice facil, eh?

Tear for Two (violin and cello - 2'11") "listen" "see"  Jazz.  (Produced in Finale 2010.)

The View from the End of the Pier (string quartet - 4'15") "listen" "see"   One can see a variety of scenes and activities from the end of the Ventura pier.  Tonal.  Sort of folk music or prayer-like. 

They're There for Their Theremins (string quartet - 4'48") "listen" "see"  (Composed and produced in Finale 2010.)  The Theremin is a rare electronic instrument you may have heard in science-fiction movies.  I attempt to evoke its quality through strings.  Imagine the musicians have lost their Theremins early in the piece.  They march to find them and succeed.  (Actually, I came up with the title first due to my annoyance with the frequent misuse of these words and then wrote the piece for it.)

Thomas: Call and Response (orchestra - 6') "see" The scrolling score is at https://youtu.be/fmVHzwcLvBs
Inspired by the tremendous effort during the Thomas Fire by so many agencies, rhe title refers to the legion of responders' gallant actions.  It attempts to convey the skill, determination, logistics, and bravery of the monumental organizational enterprise mounted against a massive disaster during a period of chaos, frustration, anger, and, ultimately, tragedy.  It begins as a rollicking march to battle and ends as a somber march evoking loss of lives and property.  Though it ends on a c minor chord, the emphasis on the dominant note aspires to balance grief with hope.

Until We Met (SATB - 3'04")  "listen"  "see"   A love song.  For choir.

Viola in Charge (string quartet - 4'24") "listen" "see"  Hooray for violas! 

Viola Alone I (vla - 4'19") "listen" "see"  Unaccompanied viola.  That's me playing my 1950 Karl Hermann captured with a Zoom H4n and processed using Audacity. 

Viola Alone II (vla - 4'20") "listen" "see"  Unaccompanied viola.  The sequel!  

Viola Alone III (vla - 3'17") "listen" "see"  Unaccompanied viola.  This is Victor de Almeida playing live on 5.14.11 in Oxnard, CA as an encore after Hovhaness' Talin.

Viola Alone IV (vla) "see"  Unaccompanied viola.  No recording yet (too hard for me to play).

Viola Alone V (vla - 4'30") "listen" "see"  Unaccompanied viola.  That's me playing.

Viola Alone VI (vla - 4'52") "listen" "see"  Unaccompanied viola.  Sounds Appalachian.  That's me playing.

Viola Alone VII (vla - 3'02") "see Unaccompanied viola.  Finale/Garritan is playing.  See/hear the scrolling score at

Viola/Piano I (vla, piano - 4'08") "listen" "see" Finale/Garritan is playing both parts.

Viola/Piano II (vla, piano - 4'10") "listen" "see" Finale/Garritan is playing both parts.

Viola/Piano III (vla, piano - 3'6") "listen" "see" Finale/Garritan is playing both parts.

Viola/Piano IV (vla, piano - 4'15") "listen" "seeFinale/Garritan is playing both parts.  Also, you can click "here" for just the piano accompaniment.

Viola/Piano V (vla, piano - 3'20") "listen" "seeFinale/Garritan is playing both parts.  Also, you can click "here" for just the piano accompaniment.

Viola/Piano VI (vla, piano - 4'50") "seeFinale/Garritan is playing both parts.  Click the following link to hear the scrolling score on Youtube: https://youtu.be/H-Ebrn2AxAc

Viola/Piano VII (vla, piano - 5'40") "seeFinale/Garritan is playing both parts.  Inspired by the tragic events described in Los Crimenes de Moises Ville by Javier Sinay.  Click the following link to hear the scrolling score on Youtube:  https://youtu.be/AjgafuTjcyI 

Viola Plus Trio I (string quartet - 4'23") "listen" "see"  It's scored like a string quartet, but with an enhanced viola part.   Finale/Garritan is playing all parts. 

Viola Plus Trio II (string quartet - 4'20") "listen" "see"  It's scored like a string quartet, but with a prominent viola part.   Finale/Garritan is playing all parts.

Viola Plus Trio III (string quartet - 4'37") "listen" "see"  It's scored like a string quartet, but with a prominent viola part.   Finale/Garritan is playing all parts.

Violas on Broadway! (four violas - 7'3") "listen" "see"  It's an overture to an as-yet-unwritten musical, previewing the themes to be heard in more detail later.  The individual song titles appear on the score.  I've attempted to distribute the leads among the four instruments.  So, to promote equality and avoid the hierarchy associated with a number sequence, I've identified the four parts as Do, So, Re, and La rather than one through four.

Waiting for Cello (two violins and one viola - 3'20") "listen" "see"  Sometimes the cellist is late for string quartet rehearsal.  The rest of us can play this while we wait.

White Keys (vln1, vln2, vla, cello, bass -2'57") "listen" "see"  I submitted this to a contest for high school orchestras.  (Didn't win.)

4&6 (vln1, vln2, vla, cello - 1'44") "listen" "see"  Can you figure out why I named it thus?

2008 #1 (vln1, vln2, vla, cello - 1'56") "listen" "see"  Sometimes I can't think up a good title (or any title).

2008 #3  (vln1, vln2, vla, cello - 2'38") "listen" "see"  Ditto.


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