Where Songs Go at Night


Instrumentation: Flute doubling Piccolo, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Tenor Saxophone
Duration: 13:30


Songs are everywhere. Elements of song form are known far and wide: terms like verse, chorus, and bridge are common currency. Having spent time composing music in other forms, especially instrumental music, wherein terms like development, variation, or return might be more likely to come into play, I am fascinated by the familiarity of song structure and by the presence of songs in our lives. Where Songs Go at Night makes use of elements of songs, including a repeating harmonic progression, a repeating bass line, some folk-like melodies, though it imagines these elements in a context that is not as focused or clear as a single song. It’s something more like a community of song parts, or a set of back stage locations where those elements gather when they’re not busy doing their jobs in their respective songs. Some elements are found wandering, some are singing, some are lost, and some found. They mingle, chat, argue, and finally come together.

Where Songs Go at Night was commissioned by Romie de Guise-Langlois and the wind faculty at UMass Amherst. It will be premiered on Sept. 4, 2021 at UMass Amherst.