I started off 2014 with a short residency at the Banff Centre in Canada! I had a fantastic time playing in the snow, making new friends, going on wintry hikes and listening to some fantastic music performed by other residents. I did some composing too, in my little composer’s hut, #7, the Mendelssohn cabin. While small, it had all the essentials needed to work on a new exclusively acoustic piece, a set of songs with the provisional title, “Forest Songs.” For years, I have had a strong desire to get back into writing vocal music. My first and only journey intro writing for voice was about fourteen years ago, when I wrote “Four Songs” for soprano and piano on texts by Donald Justice. In a strange coincidence, it looks like these songs will be revived for several new performances in Louisiana this Spring (details to come).
A couple of years ago, I made several sketches for new songs with a forest/nature theme and spent considerable time looking for texts. However, due to other projects, this new set of songs was pushed into the background until this month. I’m still looking for texts to go with my various sketches, but I have started two songs that use texts by Hilda Doolittle, “Huntress” and “Pursuit.” I am writing these songs for soprano and small chamber ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano). Ultimately, I hope to write five or six songs in this set and potentially, a couple of instrumental interludes.