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  • Three Poems Around Thomas Wolfe (2018) soprano, clarinet, violin, cello + piano

    This is written in loving memory of my grandmother,
    Rita Francis Sever (1923-2018).

    Thomas Clayton Wolfe (1900-1938) was primarily an American novelist and playwright who held poetry in such a high esteem that he would not claim to have written it. Wolfe died shortly before his 38th birthday leaving less than half of his works unpublished. John S. Barnes then scoured his novels and plays to arrange smaller sections of writings into verse. It could be argued that Wolfe’s works were hacked into verse by Barnes. I have now since twisted Barnes’ text even further to arrive at smaller snippets.
    In the first movement, the text describes a narrator in early 20th Century Brooklyn listening out her window to the sounds of her city. She overhears the small talk of two neighbors. One of the neighbors has been away and learns from the other that a fellow neighbor has passed away while she has been gone.
    The second and third movements are then reactions to the first. The second is light and buoyant, and the third is a form of dance.

    Live video recording at the Center for New Music San Francisco – August 24,2018
  • Two Memorials (2018) clarinet, violin, cello + piano

    Premiered – August 24, 2018

    Sophie Huet, clarinet; Mia Nardi-Huffman, violin; Bridget Pasker, cello; Naomi Stine, piano

    Program Note: Two Memorials is based on two tunes from the 1835 hymnal “Southern Harmony”. The sketches against these two hymn melodies, In Adam We Have All Been One + What Wondrous Love, were written shortly after two of my uncles’ deaths and then fully composed in August 2018 as a tribute.

    The piece is in loving memory of
    Roy Queen (1953-2015) + Terry Severhill (1950-2017).

  • The Round (2018) soprano + flute: text by Walter de la Mare

    Live recording from Holy Innocents Episcopal Church San Francisco – May 5, 2018
  • In Your Midst (2017) soprano + organ

    Written for and premiered by Danielle Sampson February 2017 https://www.daniellesampson.com/bio/

    Performed June 10, 2018 by Winnie Nieh http://www.winnienieh.com/

  • Still Waiting (2016) soprano + piano

    pdf available here

    This piece was written for and commissioned by Jane Spencer Mills. The text was written by Jane’s mother Judith Spencer.

    Still Waiting by Judith Spencer

    Couldn’t wait to grow up,
    So I could play with the big kids
    Mummy said “wait“.  
    You’ll get there.

    Couldn’t wait to start school,
    Ride on the bus like the big kids.
    Mummy said “wait“.
    You’ll get there.

    Couldn’t wait to wear lipstick, 
    Maybe eyebrow pencil like the popular girls.
    Mother said “wait“.
    You’ll get there.

    Couldn’t wait to get a driver’s license
    So I wouldn’t have to wait for the Parents 
    To retrieve me from the dance.
    Mother said “wait“.
    You’ll get there.

    Couldn’t wait to go “away” to college,
    New world, no Parents, no curfew.
    Mom said “wait“.
    You’ll get there.

    Couldn’t wait to get a job,
    Share an apartment, 
    Maybe loose my virginity.  
    Friends said “wait“.
    You’ll get there.
    (Didn’t ask Mom)

    Couldn’t wait to marry my guy, 
    Have children, become a real woman.
    My guy said “wait“.
    We’ll get there.

    Couldn’t wait for the youngest child to start school, 
    So I could pick up on a career.
    My guy said “wait“.
    We’ll get there.

    Could ‘t wait to finally retire, my guy and I,
    To see some of the bigger world and discover ourselves in it?
    My guy said “wait“.
    We’ll get there.

    Well, life happened and he passed on before me.
    I wish he could have waited.

    But I’m still here
    And I can’t wait for this day to open itself to me.
    Don’t worry.
    I’ll get there.

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