With the Grain was commissioned by the Fromm Foundation at Harvard for the guitarist David Starobin. It was completed in 2009. The four movements (about 24 minutes) are named after wood grains and their kinetic qualities (these also describe the music): ?Redwood Burl (slow, round, evolving shapes)?, ?Karelian Birch (long, sinuous, wavy lines)?, ?Quilted Beech (quiet, with soft contours)?, and ?Walnut Burl (busy, with aggressive twists and turns).? The piece is a celebration of the classical guitar, an instrument that is manifestly made of wood, and it is dedicated to David Starobin, one of the finest guitarists alive. It was David who first encouraged me to write guitar music over ten years ago, a suggestion for which I am forever grateful.