Beauty Amidst Strife

Hello all! It’s been a while, and for those that happen to care, I apologize. Life has been… trying lately for various reasons. Family health issues, work related stress, it’s all been pretty horrifying I must say. That said, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brightly right now, and my lovely wife and I are on the verge of new and exciting life-changes that are very welcome indeed.

Apparently nothing will stop me from stealing some time and working on music though. The truth is, the creative process is a sanctuary from stress. You have to MAKE time for it, and that I did. I spent a week or two pouring through a LOT of poetry to find words that inspired musical ideas in my head. After many false leads, I finally happened upon a poet named Sara Teasdale. Most of her work is in the public domain, which was one of my criteria, as I’m not yet good enough or established enough to try and negotiate the rights to set a copyrighted poem to music. The legal implications of that are horrific, and it’s not a minefield I want to traverse at this point in my musical career. Therefore, public domain it is, and Sara Teasdale’s work has a distinctiveness and message that spoke to me. I decided to create a music “cycle”–traversing from dusk, through evening, and into morning with three settings that are meant to be performed / played in one continuous sequence. The first one is finished. The second one is in the final stages of completion, and the third one is still in the composing stage. I know better than to project a timeframe for the cycle’s completion, but I HOPE it will not be more than another month.

Cubase Conducting

Conducting “Evening” (Adapted from the Poem “Dusk in June” by Sara Teasdale)

Meanwhile, I thought I’d share the text I will be setting–if for no other reason than to give Ms. Teasdale her due before I corrupt her gorgeous words with my ill fated attempt at musical adaptation. Here are the poems I’m working with:

Twilight

Dreamily over the roofs
The cold spring rain is falling;
Out in the lonely tree
A bird is calling, calling

Slowly over the earth
The wings of night are falling
My heart like the bird in the tree
Is calling, calling, calling

———————
Dusk in June

Evening, and all the birds
In a chorus of shimmering sound
Are easing their hearts of joy
For miles around

The air is blue and sweet
The few first stars are white
Oh let me like the birds
Sing before the night

———————-
Morning Song

A diamond of a morning
Waked me an hour too soon;
Dawn had taken in the stars
And left the faint white moon.

O white moon, you are lonely,
It is the same with me,
But we have the world to roam over,
Only the lonely are free.


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