The Music of Tom Flaherty


Tom Flaherty’s compositions grow organically from small motives or cells that expand and contract in unpredictable yet satisfyingly logical spans. Always governed by a truly musical ear, Flaherty’s music is too restless to be called minimalist, and too repetitive to be termed maximalist. The two duo piano works that open and close this CD sound radically different from each other. Vorarlberg Resonance is a response to bells the composer heard in Austria, and makes use of the overtones that bells and pianos have in common. Time to Travel uses a series of rhythmic ostinati that evolve continuously throughout the course of the composition. The two compositions using digital processor- Trio for Cello and Quartet for Viola and Cello use the processor to delay and transpose the input from the live instruments. When the delay pattern is overlaid with live playing, many different tempi and meters emerge from the composite. These two works, so seemingly simple in their materials, emerge as wonderfully rich musical statements. Timeflies for guitar and cello, and Semi-Suite for solo cello further pursue the composer’s interest in exploring rhyhmic and metric interaction while writing challenging music for himself to perform. Tom Flaherty was a cello student of Bernard Greenhouse and Timothy Eddy, and studied composition with, among others, Martin Boykan, Billy Jim Layton, B├╝lent Arel, Robert Linn, and Fredrick Lesemann. A recipient of numerous grants and commissions, Tom Flaherty is an Associate Professor of Music at Pomona College, and an active cellist in the Los Angeles area.


Vorarlberg Resonance

Karl and Margaret Kohn, piano four-hands


Peter Yates, guitar

Tom Flaherty, cello

Trio for Cello and Digital Processor

Tom Flaherty, cello


Tom Flaherty, cello

Quartet for Viola, Cello and Digital Processor

Cynthia Fogg, viola

Tom Flaherty, cello

Time to Travel

Karl and Margaret Kohn, pianos