attract opposites (2017)
I. Spring am I; laden Autumn here I stand... (soprano)
II. Summer looked for long am I, what should be remembered? (mezzo)
III. estival and hibernal: obliquity of the ecliptic (solo piano)
IV. Day and Night, I bring again... (duet)
This song cycle takes its inspiration from William Morris' Verses for Pictures, but looks at it from a somewhat kaleidoscopic viewpoint. Instead of setting the six poems in order, I combine them into three distinct movements, intertwining the two texts of each movement line by line.
Morris' text lent itself quite nicely to this treatment, especially in the last movement, where he uses similar language in the Day and Night sections of the poem. I fully exploit this, but also exploit the stark difference between day and night by have each singer in a different key center, yet making them work harmoniously together.
The first movement is a reflective recitative of sorts that flips moods between the bright happiness of spring and the tired dreariness of autumn. The second is another example of this mood shift, this time between the warmness of summer and icy chill of winter. The third movement is for piano alone, utilizing two consonant tone rows and an angular melodic line to suggest the two eclipses and the angle at which the sun hits the earth, or the "obliquity of the ecliptic".
This work was premiered in the Anderson Center Chamber Hall at Binghamton University on May 4, 2017.
Performers: Lianne Aharony (soprano), Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek (mezzo), and Michael McAndrew (piano).