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Three Songs
for soprano, cello and piano
(1995)

 

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Bonsai
A Small Vessel
Above the Highways

These songs were commissioned by the University of Indianapolis Department of Music and premiered there in 1996 by mezzo-soprano Jo Ann Domb along with Dennis McCaferty and Richard Ratliff. The approach taken in these songs is decidedly lyrical, with a generally light texture that is well-siuted for intimate chamber settings. The singer's clearly exposed lines demand much in the way of clarity, accuracy and subtle shading, while the relatively simple cello and piano parts help provide the proper flow and sparkle. There is also a reduced version of Three Songs avialable for either mezzo-soprano, or tenor and piano accompaniment.

(performance time for all three songs ca. 10 minutes)
 


The words for Three Songs are given below.
(poems © 1995, Paul SanGregory)

 

Bonzai

twisted arms are reaching
striving
the sun so far away

aging now beyond
short years
the coarseness shows a strain

still below the fight remains
hidden
out of view

remove the stones now
freedom
yet curves will always stay
 

to look, to see
these arching forms
to see the knotted skin
one might feel a sense of pain
or beauty rise within

 

A Small Vessel

I know of a small vessel
tied down safely
eresting in the harbor

rising and falling
with the rhythm of the tides
it echoes the life of the sea

 

Above the Highways

There are many grasses
growing freely
coloring open spaces
between the dying highways.

They breathe in the sun
soaking from the soil
a fragrance and a magic
that perfumes a rising air.

And what is the wisdom
within those secrets,

the things we cannot know
drifting up beyond the highways,
that keeps an eagle soaring
above a rapid death?