Premiere: April 23, 2008 / Emily Hindrichs, soprano; Brett Hodgdon, piano / Church of St. John the Evangelist / Boston, Massachusetts
Instrumentation: High voice and Piano; orchestral arrangement in progress
Text: Adapted from the "Missed Connections" section of boston.craigslist.org
I was in a good rhythm with the sacred choral niche when I finally had a serious discussion with my wife about writing a song cycle for her. Every offer of sacred text, even from female saints and mystics, resulted in a wrinkled nose. On a whim, she said to me, “Why don’t you try setting personal ads?”
Missed Connections is a section of the online classifieds, Craigslist. An extension of more conventional personal ads, it is an anonymous forum for the telling of secrets – words written in hopes that they will be seen by the right eyes, confessions of forbidden love, things one thinks but would never say out loud. The drama and natural rhythmic flow of the texts required a type of writing different from that which I had employed for worship.
The nature of these postings requires that the author abandon pretense and cut to the heart of the matter. In addition to being anonymous, postings on Missed Connections are deleted after no more than ten days.
The girl in the long gray coat - I see you all the time. I get on at MGH, you get off at Central. You have brown hair a bit longer than your chin; long grayish jacket. I’m always wearing scrubs and I have blonde hair. I try to make eye contact with you. You always look so sad.
why is it so hard? - I’m so shy with you. I don’t know how to small talk. With a word from you, it would be so easy.
Your parents gave us an old fridge - I woke up after having the most vivid dream. It was a dream about a day of freedom for me. We were moving in. We were moving in an old fridge that you parents gave us. We had to take the doors off just to get the damn thing in the kitchen door. I looked at that beat up fridge and felt deeply satisfied. I later painted that entryway green. Green was a good color to choose. I was moving in and moving on. I wonder how it looks today. It seems so very far away.
mc for me - I’m going to go stand around coffee shops and concert halls, looking pretty and all alone. I’m going to wait for you to come get me, take my hand and bring me home. I’m going to smell the snow, chew my nails and wait for my prayers to be heard. I’m going to go to bed now by myself and when I’m awake, I’ll want something else. Come find me. Don’t make me wait. Just walk right up and kiss me.
I still think of you - Sometimes in the evening as I am getting home and its dark and more than a little cold and the wind rattles the leaves in the tree in front of our house, I look through the window and see you walking down the stairs to meet me. I open the door and we walk together into the kitchen. Such are the tricks my heart plays on me, but in the end I am left staring out into the field behind the house as the rising moon turns the snow blue and the shadows cast by the trees remind me of what is gone.