Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


Music Theory and Composition

Committee Chairperson

Jacob Cooper, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Adam Silverman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Maggio, Ph.D.


“Vital Status” is a term used to describe the state of being alive or not and is typically used in a medical and/or biological context. The project explores duality and balance in the universe and ultimately questions the nature of what it means to be a truly living creature or entity. This occurs through four distinct pieces, each focusing on a different duality or aspect of life: “A Nameless Evil” addresses internal struggle/anxiety (individual/internal strife), “Resonances of the Earth” depicts the resonance of the planet and the natural balance therein, “V404 Cygni” portrays relationships both here and in the universe, and “I/O” conveys the discrepancy between living organisms and machines/technology.

This project begins exploring the life of a single, living individual and gradually zooms out to include our planet and then an entirely different solar system. With each new piece, we get farther from our own understanding of what life is and what it even means to be “alive.” By the end, the resemblance to life as we know it becomes hardly, if at all, recognizable. The final piece focuses on something inherently unnatural and inorganic, asking where the line is between human and machine.

A Nameless Evil FINAL AUDIO copy.wav (39247 kB)
A Nameless Evil_Audio

Resonances_Final Audio copy.wav (81763 kB)
Resonances of the Earth_Audio

V404 Cygni FINAL Audio copy.aif (67779 kB)
V404 Cygni_Audio

I:O copy.wav (52084 kB)