Liner Notes for an Imaginary Playlist
Premiere: Piano version - November 13, 2011 / Frank Pesci, tenor; Dan Snape, piano / St. Andrew's Hall / Trinity Church in the City of Boston. Chamber version - December 9, 2018 / Frank Pesci, tenor; Liz Hirst, flute; Carl Rosman, clarinet; Amandine Duchênes, piano / All Saint's Anglican Church / Cologne, Germany
Instrumentation: Medium Voice & Piano OR Flute (and Alto Flute), Bass Clarinet and Piano
Text: Terrance Hayes
The text for this set is a sestina written by the poet Terrance Hayes, a National Book Award winner and MacArthur Fellow who is on faculty at New York University. Each stanza describes fictional music making based on actual artists the poet had in mind, who I have tried to emulate musically.
I wrote and premiered four songs from this set with piano on a concert I curated in 2011. I expanded the set in 2018, adding a song and orchestrating the entire work to include flute and clarinet.
"Wind Solo" by the Felonious Monks From the album Silense ©1956
"Mood Etude #5" by Fred Washington Sr. From the album Blassics © 1985
"Oh, You" by Marvin and the Gay Ghosts From the album Baby, Don't Won't © 1987
"Mythic Blues" by Big Bruise Guitar From the album The Devil's Angel © 1924
Tercet – And the music is better