(2005; quartet version)

Instrumentation: voice, flute or violin, cello, piano
Duration: 6:00


Along with Love Song with Counterpoint, Forgetting was initially composed as part of a set of four songs entitled, Early, After, Ever, Now, originally scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, harp and percussion, and commissioned and premiered by Network for New Music in 2000.  The version of Forgetting for voice, flute (or violin), cello and piano, was performed by soprano Judith Kellock in 2005. These two songs represent my first attempt at writing both words and music together. Forgetting is about the bliss of an ordinary memory, mistakenly recovered and experienced, in connection with someone who is no longer around.


One morning I woke up I thought I’d call her
Saturday morning, one March morning
One morning I woke up, I could see her
It’s the first day, she’ll say, to hang the wash outside
Early sun, home sun, snap of sheets that smell of air
One ordinary moment, one spectacularly ordinary moment.

One morning I woke up, I could hear her
She says, the ground here is no longer frozen.
You know, it seems, the dog knows the word ‘ocean.’
She takes a drive, and on the radio
A singer sings a song about her mother singing
Didn’t know it at the time—home time
Hallowed hall, the kitchen,
Back-up band a plate upon a plate in running water—

One morning, I woke up, I forgot
That she is dead
Saturday—I forgot—one March morning
One ordinary moment, one spectacularly ordinary moment.