It Still Resounds

soprano/mezzo soprano, piano

2019

Premiered by Jennifer Ashe and Matthew Jaskot on September 19, 2019 in Worcester, MA

About the Piece

This collection of songs reflects upon a personal experience of loss, grief, and healing.  The impetus for the piece was my discovery of a translation of Bawa Muhaiyadeen’s Spontaneous Song, (translated by Coleman Barks), a text that resonated deeply with me, and that I immediately connected to my wife and I holding our son Brayden, who was stillborn in 2014.  This brief moment, etched in our memory, was a ray of light in an intense period of darkness.  Excerpts of the text are set as the central movement and bookended by settings of two Emily Dickinson poems.  The first of which, A poor— torn heart—a tattered heart, is set as a lament, a cry for help, that includes moments of hope, and reflects upon the immediate aftermath of our experience.  The setting of the second poem, They say that Time assuages, explores the role of time in the process of healing, posing an antithetical view of the cliché that time heals.  In my setting, time is overwhelmingly incessant, and taunts and tantalizes as it infinitely presses forward.

 

Video from the premiere