Songs of Insects and Animals

for high voice and piano
Duration: 8 minutes

Program notes:

Emily Dickinson was, and still is, an enigmatic figure. Each poem seems to be in code, and I rarely take Dickinson at her word. For this cycle I’ve chosen texts that have to do with animals and insects, in the tradition of bestiaries, popular in the Middle Ages and usually containing religious symbolism. My collection includes the only animal that, as far as we know, is self-aware. The behavior of this being is found in the final song. Some of these songs were composed in hours, others days, and another weeks. Commissioned by The Seasons Music Festival, they are dedicated to their premiering duo of Robert Frankenberry and Tanya Stambuk.

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