U n f i n i s h e d L i s t o f t h e T h i n g s I L o v e
Mezzo-Soprano and Piano
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The poems used here in these five songs for mezzo-soprano and piano were written especially for use in this song cycle. I became close friends with Jennifer Weiman and Jordan Voth, a husband and wife pair of musicians, while Jordan and I were in graduate school together. The poet, Daniel Weller, is a friend of theirs from their undergraduate studies, and therefore this piece truly is a collaboration amongst friends.
The five poems are unified in their evocative imagery that depicts various facets of love.
Of the things
I love most:
Of the moon,
Glaciers, shells, pine needles.
Like the shadow
Of a feather
Flying through the earth
You land in my hands:
A pale, luminous leaf.
As it filters
Like a golden flame
Sound that surrounds me
When the rest of the world runs empty.
Raspy, succulent, as deep
As the neck of a flower.
IV. Autumn Sonnet
I ask little of light, soil, the night sky.
That each is a kind of compass—that’s fine.
That each leads me to you—a miracle.
I do not need much: just this life, to die
Having loved insatiably, against my
Nature, having given everything up
And having never lost a thing, to fill
My life and your life simply, like a cup.
The air—still wandering in its old age—
Will be plenty to guide me when I must
Leave the globe of the body and return
Like a calm star to my cradle of dust:
For it is where our love was born, first leaf
In the light, when there was no pain, no grief.
V. Even the Little Things
Even the little things
I was sure would linger
Themselves in the crisp
Flower of time…
So many drops
Commissioned by the Music Teachers National Association & the Missouri Music Teachers Association, 2016.
Semi-Finalist, The American Prize 2019 Composition-Vocal Chamber Music (Professional Division) Category
Selected Performance, 2019 Society of Composers, Inc. Region VI Conference
Selected Performance, 2018 University of South Florida New-Music Festival and Symposium
Selected Performance, 2017 Emerging Midwestern Collegiate Composers (EMCC) Conference
Melissa Rodriguez, Michaella Prussak, and Laura Maxwell - 11 April 2019; Commerce, TX
Marika Kyriakos and Emily Trapp Jenkins - 26 February 2019; Jonesboro, AR
Songeaters - 6 April 2018; Tampa, FL
Jennifer Weiman and Jordan Voth - 10 March 2017; Kansas City, MO
Jennifer Weiman and Jordan Voth - 5 November 2016; Springfield, MO [Video of Performance on YouTube]