Open Piece No. 5 for organ

Open Piece No. 5 for organ

My latest work is part of my ongoing series of Open Pieces. Carson Cooman is performing on this recording. He is a wonderful, sensitive musician. This work was composed for the very talented organist and composer Carson Cooman. Please take a moment to listen to his fine performance. 

Open means the pieces have an indeterminate duration and can be performed by any group or instruments. 

If you want to learn more about Carson please go over to his website:





1lb sausage* (I prefer Conecuh Brand sausage. It has a good bit of spice to it.)

1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs*

2c white long grain rice



1 medium onion

1 medium bell pepper

3 stalks celery

3 or 4 cloves of garlic


1tsp thyme

½tsp coriander

2 bay leaves

1tsp Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning or whatever Cajun seasoning you prefer

Salt and pepper to taste



Cut chicken into small cubes and sausage into short segments. Dice onion, bell pepper, celery into small pieces. Mince the garlic (please don’t use the nasty jarred garlic). Veggies should be diced into small pieces so that they cook down in the pan. Onion, bell pepper and celery are referred to as The Trinity. Garlic is pretty much considered part of the The Trinity as well.

Put olive oil in pot and put on medium heat. Put sausage and chicken in and cook until browned. Stir regularly. Make sure the meats are well browned before adding veggies.  Add veggies. Keep stirring. Add spices. Veggies should cook down for a while. The final product should not have large chunks of veggies. Trinity is viewed as a ‘seasoning’ so it should be cooked until it breaks down into smaller bits.  This will take a while. Trust me it’s worth it. If you rush this, you may end up with a dish you enjoy but the depth of flavors may not be there.

Rinse the rice well. Rinse until the water becomes clear. Drain well.

Add rice to the pot and stir well.

Add 3 ¾ cups water. (Play around with this. There are usually already liquid from the veggies so adding the normal 2:1 ratio of water:rice can be excessive)

Stir to make sure the ingredients are covered by the water. You don’t want any clumps of rice lingering above the water line.

Bring to a boil. Cover and turn down to a simmer.


This part doesn’t take that long. The rice will absorb the water. Check it after about 8 or 9 minutes. Nobody likes overcooked rice.


*You can make a vegetarian version. Quorn makes wonderful faux chicken breasts that can be used in place of chicken. Also there are faux sausages. Pick one that has a bit of spice to it.

When I’ve cooked veggie sausage in the past it can fall apart if it is cooked in a dish (especially if it’s in a liquid: soup, beans etc), so brown it and remove it from the pan then place it in the pot when you bring it to a simmer.  You could also try browning mushrooms and adding those back in later.

Conecuh Sausage is a brand of sausage from Alabama primarily sold in the South, but I just checked out their website and it is now available in the Midwest.

Mason Modern Music Ensemble at George Mason University

Saturday May 3rd the Mason Modern Music Ensemble (M3E) is performing my Open Piece No. 1. According to the School of music Calendar it will be in the Choral Hall at 5pm. So if you are in the area feel free to go to the performance. I am sure it will be wonderful.

If you want to take a peak at the score click here

If you’d like to hear a previous performance of the work click here


Best of luck to the performers of M3E. I can’t wait to hear the recording.