Home item9a2 item9a1 item9a1a Calendar recordings Contact

Program note

Mother Tongues (2006)
Scoring: female voice, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano
Text: haiku by Sonia Sanchez
Duration: 11 minutes The Artist (2004)
Scoring: baritone, piano
Text: William Carlos Williams
Duration: 3 minutes

Mother Tongues brings together a multiplicity of languages, both verbal and musical.  In the haiku themselves a Japanese verse form meets the distinctive voice of Sonia Sanchez. Put another way, a traditionally pristine poetic landscape is imbued with human love, drama and heat. On the musical side, my palette here clearly includes elements of the blues and of art song, within an identifiable world of contemporary classical music. And of course the singer and players bring their own interpretive and technical worlds to the picture. What to make of these distances? Are the multiplicities too big, too many? I suppose that in writing, whether music or poetry, we use what is innate and at the same time we appropriate, often losing track of the distinction between the two. License must be taken, freedom assumed. And the fun part is forgetting. Once the pencil is moving and the ear is tuned in, that multiplicity has to just be, letting it all feel like mother tongue. I’m grateful to the Network for New Music and to Sonia Sanchez for the opportunity to take this license

Back to top

Solo and Chamber   |   Orchestral and Large Ensemble   |   Vocal and Choral

Biography Biography Works Works Listen item9a1d item9a1a