This piece was written for and commissioned by Jarring Sounds (Danielle Sampson + Adam Cockerham) for their June 2016 “Elegy” themed concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area. The text is adapted from a portion of the Latin inscription above the tomb of Henry Purcell.
Applaud so great a guest, Celestial powers. Who now resides with you, but once was ours. Dy’d! No, he lives while yonder organ sounds and sacred echoes to the choir rebound.
Jill Morgan Brenner’s – I Sing Words: The Poetry Project
A collaboration between poets, composers, and performers alike; Brenner will be premiering an evening of art songs written by living composers and poets with pianist Anne Rainwater. In an effort to further music for classical singers to come, Brenner came up with the idea to fascilitate the creation of new and accesible music.
– THE CENTER FOR NEW MUSIC
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH
– 70 WEST CLAY STREET
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH AT 5 PM
Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931) was briefly famous in the 1910’s as a traveling singing poet who would chant or sing his own poetry while wandering through the United States. Yet later in life he faded into obscurity, often bartering his pamphlet “Rhymes to Be Traded for Bread” in exchange for food. Lindsay eventually commit suicide by ingesting Lysol. This setting of four poems was commissioned by Carrie Zhang and her Classical Trio Impromptu for their performances in the Bing Music Series at Stanford Hospital.
“There was a little turtle. He lived in a box. He swam in a puddle. He climbed on the rocks. He snapped at a mosquito. He snapped at a flea. He snapped at a minnow. And he snapped at me. He caught the mosquito. He caught the flea. He caught the minnow. But he didn’t catch me.”
“Each storm-soaked flower has a beautiful eye. And this is the voice of the stone-cold sky: ‘Only boys keep their cheeks dry. Only boys are afraid to cry. Men thank God for tears Alone with lost years.”
Based on the poem by Sara Teasdale, “There Will Come Soft Rains” is a dialogue between soprano (Amy Foote) and prerecorded audio. The track to “There Will Come Soft Rains” is a mix of collaborative recordings between myself and Amy Foote. Piano, field recordings, and Miss Foote’s voice are mixed to form a unique landscape representing Teasdale’s poem. www.amymichellefoote.com
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)