AM Fugue violin and electroacoustic music Another Man's Shoes score for film by Royce Gorsuch Baby Band Swing for flute and clarinet Borrowed Time 8-channel electroacoustic music The Democratic Composition Project electroacoustic music with video DrupalCon Austin 2014 score for Drupal Association video The Earthphoenix Project for cello, electroacoustic music, and video Music for Flesh and the Desert score and soundtrack for play by Carson Kreitzer; jazz saxophone quartet, piano, voice, and electroacoustic media Four Dimensions for string quartet The Geology of Bighorn Canyon score for film by Bob Cruz Geomorphology for solo piano The Earthphoenix Project for cello and video Hallucination Spring for mixed chamber ensemble How the Hell are You Feeling? for violin and guitar Impossible Things Are Happening Every Day for two oboes, English horn, and bassoon In Memoriam Octavia Butler for chorus and orchestra Key West for soprano and cello The Last Christmas radio drama/electroacoustic music Music for Lone Star and Laundry and Bourbon music for play by James McLure Metadisco electroacoustic music Metadisco 2 electroacoustic music with video Mystery electroacoustic music Opposite Day synth-pop album Overture to Zoey Bell for orchestra Panel Session #1 electroacoustic music Poeciliana electroacoustic music Prelude for solo oboe Seven Lonely Rivers oboe and electroacoustic music so many days to be here electroacoustic music Springs for woodwind quintet Tech Support electroacoustic music The leaves that aren't moving for chamber orchestra The Very Hungry Snake 8-channel electroacoustic music Three E.E. Cummings Poems for SATB chorus a capella Wonderful Age electroacoustic music with video Zoey Bell opera in two acts

AM Fugue (1998) for violin and tape portrays a sleeping person trying not to wake up despite a multitude of outside sounds invading his disoriented dream state. The title refers to "Fugue" as both a disturbed state of consciousness and, very loosely, as an organizing principle in the piece. There are two main recurring themes that are taken through several "episodes" based on alarm clock sounds, door knock sounds, pizzicato sounds, and so on. The structure of the piece alternates between sections where the notes synchronize precisely with the tape and sections where the violin plays a freer role. (Audio excerpt - Andrew Perea, violin)

Another Man's Shoes (2007) score for film by Royce Gorsuch

Baby Band Swing (2004) I've always thought that competitive music performance and competitive gymnastics have a lot in common. (Personally, I'd love to see an Olympic music competition, complete with commentators-- "Well, Al, she had trouble with that high G in practice this morning. Let's see if she can pull it off tonight. . .") This piece, designed to match the kinetic energy of a gymnastics routine, is a big-band swing tune for a very small band.

Borrowed Time (2000) This piece was not so much composed as it was leased from the Loan Shark of Sleep. And now that it's done, I have to pay him back with interest compounded nightly, or elseeeeeeeeeeeeejjkklaer'pg;wapr ,4t/OP (zzzzzzzzz)

Borrowed Time was commissioned by Stephen Montague for the University of Texas Electro-Acoustic Recital Series, May 4-5, 2000. (Download audio)

The Democratic Composition Project (2009) The concept for the Democratic Composition Project is borrowed from an essay by Eastman School of Music student Leah Goldstein. Music critic Greg Sandow highlighted this idea on his blog on the future of classical music. Historically, due to the cost of equipment, creation of electronic music was limited to a small number of composers at universities and pioneering studios. Today, in the age of GarageBand and YouTube, a great composer might come from any background imaginable. Montana State University Director of Music Technology Kristi McGarity decided to enlist aspiring and accomplished composers, video artists, authors, and photographers from within the Sunday Night Multimedia Series audience community in Bozeman, Montana, to provide a wide variety of source material for MSU's first audience-originated electronic music.

DrupalCon Austin 2014 (2013) Score for Drupal Association video announcing DrupalCon 2014 in Austin, TX. (View video)

The Earthphoenix Project (2008) is a multimedia collaboration on environmental themes by composer Kristi McGarity and cellist Rebecca Hartka. Video by Brian Christiansen, including photos courtesy of the Canary Project. (Download video)

Music for Flesh and the Desert (2005) Music and sound design for Carson Kreitzer's play Flesh and the Desert, a kaleidoscopic portrait of Las Vegas.

1. Potato Salad - jazz quartet
2. West Coast Mafia - jazz quartet
3. Liberace's Something Rather Beautiful - piano solo
4. Sin Sin Sin - jazz quartet
5. Viva Las Vegas - arrangement
6. Siegfried & Roy: The Show Begins - electronic music
7. Tiger Monologue - voice and electroacoustic music
8. Potato Reprise - jazz trio
9. A Dance to Love - voice and piano (lyrics by Carson Kreitzer)
10. Virtuology - jazz quartet
11. Pill Queen - alto saxophone solo
12. Sutures to the Sun - jazz quartet
13. Sunrise - jazz quartet

#1,2,4,5,8,10-13 performed by Jon Tull, alto saxophone, Anthony Belfiglio, piano, Will Schulz, bass, John Kizilarmut, drums. #3 performed by David Charles, piano. #5 - music and lyrics by Mort Shuman and Jerome Doc Pomus (used by permission); lead vocals by Chase Bringardner, backing vocals by Tom McGarity. #7 - text by Carson Kreitzer, voice by Katherine Catmull. #9 - music by Kristi McGarity, lyrics by Carson Kreitzer, performed by Kristi McGarity, vocals, and David Charles, piano.

Four Dimensions (1998) for string quartet

The Geology of Bighorn Canyon (2007) score for film by Bob Cruz, for the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Visitors Center, made possible by a grant from the National Park Service.

Geomorphology (2004) is a musical depiction of three kinds of rock formation. The science of geomorphology is, unlike geology, concerned with the genesis and evolution of large-scale features of the land rather than with individual rock samples. 1. Scoria; 2. Shale; 3. Slate

Hallucination Spring (2003) For several years I have been slightly obsessed with the various genres and sub-genres of music collectively known as trip-hop (the dictionary definition is "downtempo electronic music that grew out of England's hip-hop and house scenes, characterized by a reliance on breakbeats and a sample-heavy sound"), and this is my attempt at writing trip-hop chamber music. The title was inspired by an observation that this music seems to resemble the real thing in the same way that words resemble their synonyms in a thesaurus. (Download audio - University of Texas New Music Ensemble, Dan Welcher, conductor)

How the Hell are You Feeling? (1998) This piece was commissioned by Duo46 and has been released on the Summit Records label. The notes of the melodic theme are shifted and reordered along with the words in the titles of the three movements: 1. Feel Like Hell; 2. Hell-- I Feel Like It; 3. Whatever the Hell I Feel Like (Audio excerpt - Matt Gould, guitar; Beth Schneider, violin, recorded live at the Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin) (Read reviews)

Available on CD - Duo46 - Untaming the Fury

Impossible Things are Happening Every Day (2011) for two oboes, English horn, and bassoon. Commissioned by the Bozeman Symphony Professional Development Program.

In Memoriam Octavia Butler (2009) Doctor of Musical Arts dissertation for the University of Texas at Austin. A large work for chorus and orchestra commemorating the life of Octavia E. Butler, one of the first African-American woman science fiction authors.

Key West (2000) for soprano and cello is taken from "The Idea of Order at Key West" by Wallace Stevens, used by permission. Finalist in the 2002 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.

The Last Christmas (2006) An audio theatre journey into the dark underworld of high finance.

Voice cast:

  • Santa Claus: Scot Friedman
  • Carolers: The McGarity family
  • Texas CEOs: Doug Taylor, Steve Zinkgraf
  • News anchor: Jennifer Leathers
  • Field reporter: Daniel Norton
  • Ronnie Greene and the QC Commandos: Themselves
  • Computer voices by Cepstral

Music for Lone Star and Laundry and Bourbon (2008) incidental music for the play by James McLure, co-written with Sam Heuck, for the inaugural production in Montana State University's Black Box Theatre.

Metadisco (1994) is a short look at some of the clichéd sounds that grew out of early-nineties techno dance music; the piece consists of familiar percussion and analog synthesizer samples thrown into an unusual context.

Metadisco 2 (2004) - collaboration with video artist Michel Scott. The original Metadisco, my first true electroacoustic piece, was a recontextualization of clichŽd percussion and analog synthesizer sounds from early-nineties techno dance music. To mark the tenth anniversary of the original piece's composition, I decided to revisit the idea and create a sequel. (Download audio)

Mystery (1999) is based on the words of many different preachers from the Southern United States, including my grandfather's sermons in his small Texas church. The piece begins with voices layered such that the listener can either follow each one individually or get lost in the overall sound. As the piece progresses, the texture formed by the voices takes on an identity of its own and the preachers' intertwining voices travel through new sound worlds. First prize winner in the 2001 SEAMUS/ASCAP Student Commission Competition. (Download audio))

Opposite Day (1994) is the synth-pop album containing "Billy Ray," recently resurrected by choreography professor Holly Williams for the University of Texas Electro-Acoustic Recital Series. Inspired by a guy spitting at a bus stop, Billy began life in 1992 as a 4-track cassette demo with a stolen drum loop. Rerecorded in 1995 by my "band" Opposite Day, the song rocketed up the charts, reaching number one in requests on Detroit's top-rated alternative station. (This was just before Clear Channel took over and standardized the playlists.) Unfortunately, the requests came primarily from an entertainment lawyer and a gang of 12-year-olds, and Billy Ray was quickly defeated by Jill Sobule's "I Kissed a Girl." (Read reviews)

Panel Session #1 (2005) was my entry in the SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) 20th Anniversary AudioClips contest. The challenge was to write a two-minute piece using any of a collection of recorded quotations from SEAMUS members regarding the history and proper pronunciation of the SEAMUS acronym. This piece re-imagines the recorded interviews as a giant protest march.

Poeciliana (2006) is the sound of the world from the perspective of a guppy (Poecilia reticulata) in a fish store.

Prelude for Solo Oboe (1997) This piece is a free-form fantasy on several lyrical motives, commissioned by oboist Jessica Boelter for a performance at the University of Michigan. (Audio excerpt)

Seven Lonely Rivers (2005) Many of the electronic sounds in this piece are derived from recorded vocalizations of gibbons. Known as the "singing apes," gibbons are small territorial primates native to the forest area around Laos and Thailand; they live in the treetops and move around by brachiation (arm-swinging), and they are unique among apes for their need to live in mated pairs rather than a large group. Gibbons are also the most endangered primates in the world; a few species have less than twenty members left alive. Gibbon calls can be heard for miles, but are becoming increasingly rare, a fact reflected in the Thai proverb: "When you kill a gibbon you leave seven lonely rivers." Other sounds and melodies in the piece are adapted from a Laotian folk song and recordings of a kaen, a Laotian musical instrument. (Download audio - Kristi McGarity, oboe)

Springs (1997) for woodwind quintet (Audio excerpt - Jenny Beavers, flute; Kristi McGarity, oboe; Emily Zizza, clarinet; Beth Ann Rehnborg, bassoon; Brigette Hopkins, horn)

so many days to be here (2002) The words in so many days to be here are quotations from interviews conducted in shelters for families, teenagers, and children. Special thanks to Claudia Hampston Daly, executive producer of For Kids' Sake Radio, for permission to use excerpts from the radio program "Lives of the Children." Thanks also to Lesley A. Martin for permission to use a quotation from Mary Ellen Mark's book A Cry for Help, published by Umbra Editions in 1996. (Audio excerpt)

Available on CD from

Tech Support (1998) is a musical poem set to the sounds of various office machines. The narrator in this recording is Craig Clark, with additional voices by Carlos Barrón and Kristi McGarity. (Audio excerpt) (Read reviews)

The Leaves that Aren't Moving (2003) for chamber orchestra

"I can see most of the cemetery laid out to the left as I walk down to the main entrance, and on humid nights in August, I'll see the ghost-hunters out there too. They traipse around in the fog with their sophisticated tape recorders and cameras, but I've had them walk right through me and never break stride -- not so much as a shiver. They're talking to each other about ectoplasm and fiddling with their equipment, and then they wonder why nothing ever "shows up," but we've shown up. That's all we do, I assure you. On a windy night, take a moment to look at the ground. Look at the leaves blowing right to left. Then look for the leaves that aren't moving. That's us, just standing there." --Sarah D. Bunting, The Famous Ghost Monologues

The Very Hungry Snake (2003) is based on the eighties-era video game in which the player steers a snake around to scarf bits of food, earning points as the snake grows bigger. Eventually the snake gets too large to maneuver and smashes into a wall or its own tail. In this piece, the electronic snakes run free, competing for survival in a forest populated by real and electronic bugs, birds, baby snakes, and other creatures. (Audio excerpt)

Three E.E. Cummings Poems (1997) for SATB choir a capella is based on the poems "be unto love as rain," "now all the fingers of this tree," and "in spite of everything," used by permission. Winner of the 2001 Athena Festival Composition Competition. (Audio excerpt - Murray State University Concert Choir, Dr. Bradley Almquist, director) (Read reviews)

Wonderful Age (2007) collaboration with filmmaker Theo Lipfert. The piece uses archival footage from films, commercials, and newsreels to tell the double-edged story of technology in the atomic age. Wonderful Age is supported by a grant from the MSU College of Arts and Architecture and the Creative Research Lab.

Zoey Bell (2002) opera in two acts - The characters in the opera Zoey Bell are based on the Conwill family as portrayed in the historical novel Hear the Lambs a' Cryin' by Chamintney Thomas. Zoey Bell Conwill is the valedictorian of the first class ever to graduate from Wrentown High in Depression-era rural Alabama. Trying to break free of a town ravaged by poverty and a family affected by domestic violence, Zoey struggles to win acceptance to music school and start a new life. (Audio excerpt - Anitra Blunt (soprano) as Zoey, Gwyn Beaver (mezzo-soprano) as her grandmother Signora Hampton)