While jazz is at the core of my music, I became interested in American roots music after hearing Appalachian fiddle players in West Virginia. I explored a variety of fiddle styles and incorporated them in my writing. For the first couple of years in this new phase of my work many of my originals were simple tunes. I focused on composing melodies and, unlike my earlier work, did not write ensemble scores.
Through the 1990's jazz and roots music along with tango, blues, contemporary classical, and other kinds of music became intertwined in unusual ways in my writing. As my music and concepts continued to evolve, a variety of styles and forms emerged along with expanded harmonic color, a quirky humor in much of my work, and a fluid, musically expressive approach to time.
Importantly, this music was directly inspired by my life in Maryland. Many of my tunes were inspired by places around the area; in particular, the Appalachian Mountains and Chesapeake Bay. Ideas for new music were all around me as I experienced each day.
The new qualities that developed in my music became "my voice". It is possible that my work might have evolved along similar lines if I had lived somewhere else. But, I don't think so.