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CATALOG

At a Glance

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Introduction

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Hello!  Here you will find an ever-growing selection of my original compositions/arrangements that have been made public. 

 

This is a custom-built database that allows users to search, sort, and filter-via-tagging an array of items from my growing discography as a composer, arranger, and scorer.  The list is viewable as both interactive, dynamic elements that showcase key elements of the work (a preview, related media, any necessary press) as well as a list format, where users can toggle an interactive C.V.-esque view of my selected work (that behaves in the same way within the filter system, of course).  

 

Users can also see and filter items that are part of a group (i.e. an album or a significant collection of music), navigable at the top of the Catalog component of the page, under "Larger Works."  In all cases, you can generally sort listed items alphabetically and chronologically. However, when going through works within a certain "Larger Works" collection, you can sort through and organize the order of music by sorting it to see how it appears in its respective body of music.  With this all being said — if a specific work is of any interest to you, please be sure to expand the "preview window" downwards — or, even better, click the title or the picture of the work to enter a new page dedicated exclusively to that piece of music you selected.

 

A very salient note to make is that not every composition here is close to the realm of perfect (commentary on imperfections, humanistic or otherwise, of their performances aside).   It is thus my hope that you take interest to forage into the vulnerabilities of my work as well as my growth as a writer. 

A Note on Unique ID

Unique IDs, which function as the link address, are curated based on a logical sequence of criteria that informs the instrumentation, context, or otherwise of the piece.  The first three letters of the ID refer to the category of composition: if such a piece is part of a larger group of works (or was later reassigned to be representative of a larger group of works), the preceding three-digit "code" will represent this.  The date and month that signify the "completion" of the work then follow, which are succeeded by a series of letters that give more information about the overall instrumentation.   

 

I like to break down the instrumentation categories as either "Big Band," "Orchestra," "Chamber," "Voice," or "Solo."

 

While the first two categories are self-explanatory, "Chamber" is arguably the most fluid of the instrumentation categories and is more likely to represent a piece than not. If the instrumentation of the orchestra resembles more that of a chamber orchestra than a full, I will designate such as "chamber."   There may also be some situations where instrumentations are mixed and more than one letter can apply.  Works that feature voice in some way will include a "V" after the instrumentation letter. (it is only the case where there is affirmatively no accompaniment to the voice that the "V" will exist with no other juxtaposed instrumentation letters).    Another important note is that "solo" only designates that of an instrument playing alone, so there is no chance it can be mixed with other categories. With this being said, the idea of works presented in a “concerto” format still features the instrument as part of a composite whole— therefore, specifics in both the title/subtitle, the text on each Catalog item that provides outlined solo features, and of course the broken-down instrumentation text each do well in articulating the relationship of the performer to their ensemble.

 

In rare cases, a piece can be delineated as both a composition and an arrangement.  Such cases would include where the melody was written by another composer, but the text written by Robert (for example, a textual resetting of a hymn tune).  When this occurs, both A and C are presented in juxtaposition ("AC") where the arrangement/composition letter would be found. Other rare cases are such when a piece has two titles: when this occurs, the work will have both titles' initials written out consecutively, as it would be listed on the music/a program. 

 

My December 2019 setting of "My Favorite Things" for Big Band, "GMC201912ABBVMFT" may be broken down as follows:

 

GMC = General Music Catalog

201912 = The year and month which it was registered as composed

A = arrangement

BB = Big Band

V = features voice in some way

MFT = a full abbreviation of the primary title, "My Favorite Things"

 

My April 2021 composition of the hymn, "O, St. Pancras" was composed as a one-off hymn (using the hymn-tune source material of Henry Smart), but was later reassigned to be the representative hymn source material of a larger body of work (my Mass of St. Pancras).  "MSP202104ACCVOSP" is broken down as follows:

 

MSP = Mass [of] St. Pancras

202104 = The year and month which it was registered as composed

AC = arrangement [&] composition

C = chamber (in this case, organ is a likely present accompaniment for the SATB hymn tune)

V = features voice in some way

OSP = a full abbreviation of the primary title, "O, St. Pancras"

 

More specifics can, of course, be found under the "Specific Instrumentation" category.    Any programmers of Robert's music are encouraged to consult this information to see how sections are broken down.   The purpose of the Unique ID is to enable one to locate the piece in a URL based on (what is arguably) familiar metadata to the programmer. 

Categorization

Orchestral/Large Ensemble

Directly under the title of each work, you may find a summation of the instrumentation itself in common vernacular (i.e. "for voice & opt. strings").    In most, if not all cases, this will correspond directly and verbatim to the subtitles in the score, which index for what ensemble the score was written.  In many cases, considering economy of space on the catalog page, transposing instruments are written in their "colloquially understood" shorthand  form, based on the context by which it appears in its respective genre (i.e. in most jazz/commercial scenarios, "clarinet" may be used in lieu of "Clarinet in Bb"). 

 

Of course, for simultaneous archival and organizational purposes in my music, short-hand nomenclature is used to outline specifically how the ensemble is divided.  What would normally be large-scale, divided sections of an orchestra in this notation is reduced to a consistent code where one is still able to delineate sections of the ensemble.  Because of this, upon perusal, one need not rely on opening the score and consulting the score order exclusively for this information.

 

The system I use for shorthand notation is a mixture between the Chester Novello and Boosey & Hawkes Method, separating (via slashes) instrument groups by how they appear on the score itself.  "Rhythm section" (or "Rtm.") is used to demarcate a standard Big-Band rhythm section, which is composed of an acoustic piano, an upright bass, and a standard drumset (perusers are invited to consider that, in this system, guitar is not demarcated as implicit in a big band rhythm section instrumentation ("rtm."), hence (+gtr.) is used for when the rhythm section includes guitar).  Specifications/doubling that run contrary to standard orchestral/large-ensemble shorthand (i.e. a flute doubling piccolo, etc.) are delineated in parentheses adjacent to the instrument group.    Let's reduce and observe a standard jazz philharmonic orchestra (for one of my works, "L'infinito") with the following instruments.

Woodwinds (orchestral)

Flute 1

Flute 2

Oboe 1

Oboe 2

Clarinet in Bb 1

Clarinet in Bb 2

Bassoon 1

Bassoon 2

 

Brass (orchestral)

Horn in F 1

Horn in F 2

Horn in F 3

Horn in F 4

 

Woodwinds (jazz)

Alto Saxophone 1 (Doubles Soprano)

Alto Saxophone 2

Tenor Saxophone 1

Tenor Saxophone 2

Baritone Saxophone

 

Brass (jazz)

Trumpet in Bb 1 (Straight Mute, Harmon Mute)

Trumpet in Bb 2 (Straight Mute, Harmon Mute)

Trumpet in Bb 3 (Straight Mute, Harmon Mute)

Trumpet in Bb 4 (Straight Mute, Harmon Mute) 

cont...

 

cont...

Trombone 1

Trombone 2

Trombone 3

Bass Trombone

Tuba

 

Rhythm Section

Piano

Upright Bass

Drum Set

 

Percussion (orchestral)

Timpani

Percussion 1 (Shaker, Crash Cymbal)

Percussion 2 (Bongos)

Percussion 3 (Timbales, Xylophone, Glockenspiel)

Xylophone

Glockenspiel

 

Harp

Celesta

 

Strings (orchestral)

Violin I

Violin II

Viola

Violoncello

Contrabass

 
 

In my system — might I mention, once again, an attempted portmanteau of two standard archival methods — our instrumentation reduces to:

 

2.2.2.2 / 2.2. / 2(1=sop).2.1 / 4 / 3.1.1 / Rtm. / Tmp(3).Perc(3): shkr/cyms/bngos/tmbls / harp / clsta. / strings.

 

Chamber Ensemble

As one may expect, this nomenclature method extends downwards in size to chamber music as well. For example, a chamber ensemble borne of the jazz/commercial tradition will certainly extend downwards from its closest large-ensemble equivalent — and, from this, one may list a flute, a clarinet, a flugelhorn, a trombone and a string quartet together as follows:

2(I=fl.)(II=cl.) / 1(I=flg.) / 1 / str. qt.

Inquiries

It is important to understand that the context of both the instrument listing and the short-hand notation risks changing slightly contingent on the genre of the work — in some rare cases of my music, a part like the piano is more of a obbligato part than it is an active role in the rhythm section.  In the case of contrary-to-"tradition" instances such as this, the change of functionality will be offered without doubt in the instrumentation descriptions — as well as categorized in its separate area of the short-hand nomenclature method. 

 

If there are any questions with my method of archiving and catalogging what is essentially a growing discography, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly via this contact form. I look forward to talking with you!

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Unique ID#:

CHS202205ACVOISP

Difficulty:

5

Instrumentation

cl. / hn. / flg. or trpt. in Bb w. mute / vox. (mezzo-sop.) / trbl. ens. / vln. / clo. / org.

About

Have you ever wondered what sort of work goes into arranging a hymn — or, more specifically, a musical sequence? Is it crafting orchestrations (use of instrumental colors) based on the demands of the Latin text? Is it the task of objectifying such text as it would be heard for the first time? Is it creating adjustments and contrasts between sections to honor the incessantly alternating form of the piece? Is it the labor of typesetting music to be accessibly played, sung, and understood by cantors/choirs/instrumentalists?

If you answered "all the above and more" — you are correct.

In my process of arranging one of St. Hildegard of Bingen's haunting texts, "O, Ignis Spiritus Paracliti" (as originally transcribed by Dr. Beverly Lomer), the Latin text, its English translation, and the score itself are considered greatly to edify the viewer/listener as to see the role of both the composer and her arranger. In this case, a small chamber ensemble accompanies a trio consort of treble singers, who alternate between solo and ensemble.

Saint Hildegard von Bingen, named in 2012 by Pope Benedict as a Doctor of the Church, was a Benedictine nun and polymath — active as a scientist, linguist/author, physician, musician, and mystic, among dozens of other titles. She is documented as one of the first documented female composers in the Western art canon, having lived from 1098–1179. Her "O, ignis Spiritus paracliti," where she both authored the text and composed the chant, functions as a Sequence to the Holy Spirit, often grouped with their companion antiphon (Spiritus sanctus vivificans) and hymn (O ignee Spiritus).

Nathaniel M. Campbell writes that "through Hildegard’s unique recasting of the sequence form, in which “she makes each pair [of versicles] melodically similar, at times identical, yet [with] a trace of asymmetry” (Dronke, Poetic Individuality, p. 158), it maintains a rhythm both steady and dynamic to express the Holy Spirit’s role as root of nature and as anima mundi, “the soul of the world".... Hildegard’s symbolic-poetic mode excels in connecting “the highest levels of contemplative knowledge (of divinity itself) with the lowest levels of concrete images and artifacts” as she envisions each particular image in the light of the entire scope of salvation history."

Full Audio

Performed live at St. Pancras Church ("Come, Holy Spirit" Combined-Choir Concert, June 2022)

Notable Performances

"Come, Holy Spirit" (Live @ St. Pancras, Glendale)
June 2022
"Come, Holy Spirit" (Live @ St. Kevin, Flushing)
June 2022

Score Study

Media

4

Abstract Paint

O, Ignis Spiritus Paracliti (St. Hildegard von Bingen, arr. R. Buonaspina)

for alternating soprano solo, treble voices, organ, & mixed instrumental ensemble

Soprano Voice Feature

Mar 2019

8min 04sec

Premiered June 11, 2022

More Details

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Unique ID#:

CHS202205ACVCHGL

Difficulty:

3

Instrumentation

cl. / hn. / trpt. in Bb or trpt. in C / cong. (opt. unis. choir) / vln. / clo. / organ

About

This is an extended prelude fanfare/pastorale written on themes of LAMBILOTTE (commonly used for the hymn text, "Come, Holy Ghost"). Sheet music engraving supplemented by Cristopher Bonn.

On the weekend of June 11 and June 12, the adult choir of St. Pancras (Glendale, Queens), in collaboration with the music ministry of St. Kevin’s Roman Catholic Church (Flushing, Queens), offered a concert on the theme of Pentecost: “Come, Holy Spirit.”

The combined-choir concert was recorded live on June 11 only, and features wonderful selections offered by each parish’s music ministry — a selection of timeless hymns and repertoire dedicated to both invoking and being in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Full Audio

Performed live at St. Pancras Church ("Come, Holy Spirit" Combined-Choir Concert, June 2022)

Notable Performances

"Come, Holy Spirit" (Live @ St. Pancras, Glendale)
June 2022
"Come, Holy Spirit" (Live @ St. Kevin, Flushing)
June 2022

Score Study

Media

4

Abstract Paint

Come, Holy Ghost (LAMBILOTTE) (L. Lambilotte, Arr. R. Buonaspina)

for congregation/unison choir, organ, & mixed instrumental ensemble

For Sale
Mar 2019

5min 38sec

Premiered June 11, 2022

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Unique ID#:

CHS202205ACVDODZ

Difficulty:

3

Instrumentation

fl. / hn. / flg. or trpt. in Bb w. mute / vox. (mezzo-sop.) / vln. / clo. / keyb.

About

This is an originally adapted arrangement of the beautiful Polish hymn, "Duchu Ogniu," performed live by Klaudia Morelowska-Galante, soprano.

On the weekend of June 11 and June 12, the adult choir of St. Pancras (Glendale, Queens), in collaboration with the music ministry of St. Kevin’s Roman Catholic Church (Flushing, Queens), offered a concert on the theme of Pentecost: “Come, Holy Spirit.”

The combined-choir concert was recorded live on June 11 only, and features wonderful selections offered by each parish’s music ministry — a selection of timeless hymns and repertoire dedicated to both invoking and being in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Full Audio

Performed live at St. Pancras Church ("Come, Holy Spirit" Combined-Choir Concert, June 2022)

PURCHASE SCORE AND PARTS

Notable Performances

"Come, Holy Spirit" (Live @ St. Pancras, Glendale)
June 2022
"Come, Holy Spirit" (Live @ St. Kevin, Flushing)
June 2022

Score Study

Media

4

Abstract Paint

Duchu Ogniu, Duchu Żarze ((G. Rzechowska, Arr. R. Buonaspina)

for medium-high voice, organ, & mixed instrumental ensemble

Mid-High Voice Feature

For Sale
Mar 2019

4min 21sec

Premiered June 11, 2022

More Details

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Unique ID#:

GMC202205CBBVCEVT

Difficulty:

5

Instrumentation

cl. solo / 2(I=pic., opt. fl.)(II=fl.).2(I=ob., opt. cl.)(II=cl.).1(I=bs. cl.) / 4 / 3.1 / vox. (mezzo-sop.) / rtm. (+pnd.) (+gtr.)

About

A little clarinetinho goes on the first part of a long adventure.

This is the third version of a Chorinho I wrote for the Fishbeyn-Buonaspina Composition Collective, which began in September 2021. It is a fun but severely demanding out-of-band feature for Bb (or C) Clarinet that falls within an intricate treatment of a traditional rondo-esque form, common in Brazilian Choro music.

A full clarinet "protagonist" feature is the true center of the work, who is introduced almost exactly 33% into the form. This piece, set in tone and vibe as an academic study on Choro, is structurally similar to that of a first-movement in a larger set of works — therefore, the most important element in this piece is indisputably its treatment of structure, and specifically the growth over a huge sea of stoic "groove" and textures, throughout a form to its apex[es]. The overarching "form" of the "lead sheet" of this 13-minute Chorinho extravaganza is a giant ABAC; whereas the intros, interludes, and outros are considered greatly in this overall form as well, this renders the form of the ENTIRE piece (including intro, interlude, and outro now as "A") a true "Rondo" as ABABCA. The final "C" section differs completely from its previous sections, voyaging the clarinet into unfamiliar territory, yet utilizing familiar rhythmic subdivision and motives to drive the work from beginning to end.

It is imperative that the clarinet soloist for this work is chosen very carefully and is made aware of the license they are given to elevate the work, particularly to its full, structural potential.

Full Audio

Recorded by Bryan Cowan; Fishbeyn-Buonaspina Composition Collective

Notable Performances

Fishbeyn-Buonaspina Composition Collective (Live @ Advent Lutheran)
May 2022

Score Study

Media

Abstract Paint

Chorinho em Vôo Três (Expanded Version)

for clarinet protagonist, Big Band, & medium-high voice

Clarinet (in Bb or C) Feature

Mar 2019

12min 48sec

Premiered May 23, 2022

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Unique ID#:

GMC202203ABBVRC

Difficulty:

3

Instrumentation

2.2.1 / 4 / 3.1 / vox. (alto.) / rtm. (+gtr.)

About

This is an arrangement of Hoagy Carmichael's swingin' tune, made famous by renowned Indigenous vocalist Mildred Bailey. It was commissioned by Julia Allane Keefe for her flagship Big Band project, the Julia Keefe Indigenous Big Band. This arrangement was written in a short span of just two days, the week of the concert — and I am very fortunate that Julia tagged me on to be a part of this project.

Full Audio

Recorded by Bryan Cowan; Fishbeyn-Buonaspina Composition Collective

PURCHASE SCORE AND PARTS

Notable Performances

Julia Keefe Indigenous Big Band live @ Washington Center
May 2022
Fishbeyn-Buonaspina Composition Collective (Live @ Advent Lutheran)
May 2022

Score Study

Media

Abstract Paint

Rockin' Chair (H. Carmichael, Arr. R. Buonaspina)

for Big Band & medium-high voice

Medium Voice Feature; Solo: Reed 3 (Tenor Sax)

For Sale
Mar 2019

5min

Premiered May 19, 2022

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Unique ID#:

GMC202203ACVTLPOF

Difficulty:

4

Instrumentation

About

This is an organ & brass arrangement of Robert Snow's famous adaptation of the chanted Lord's Prayer, arranged for the 2022 Easter Vigil at St. Pancras.

If you're looking for a simple, unmetered arrangement of the Lord's Prayer for organ, congregation, & brass quartet (with interchangeable parts) to enrich any Holy Day/Solemnity during the Holy Year, you are encouraged to check this out.

Full Audio

Mixed (Remote) Mock-up (with Robert and Katrina)

Notable Performances

Score Study

Media

Abstract Paint

The Lord's Prayer ("Our Father...") (Snow, Arr. R. Buonaspina)

for congregation/unison choir & organ (opt. concert brass)

Mar 2019

1min 26sec

Premiered April 16, 2022

More Details

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Unique ID#:

GMC202112CBBVCEVU

Difficulty:

5

Instrumentation

2(I=pic., opt. fl.)(II=fl.).2(I, II=cl.).1(I=bs. cl.) / 4 / 3.1 / vox. (mezzo-sop.) / rtm. (+pnd.) (+gtr.)

About

This is the first, abridged version of a Chorinho I wrote for the Fishbeyn-Buonaspina Composition Collective, which began in September 2021. It is a fun Reed 4 (Bb Clarinet) feature that falls within an intricate treatment of a traditional rondo-esque form, common in Brazilian Choro music.

Full Audio

As informally recorded by the Fishbeyn-Buonaspina Composition Collective (Dec 2021)