The Oh of Moon and Piano

Moonbook Chapter 7: The Oh of Moon and Piano (2000) is a collaboration between poet Denise Newman and myself. As with our other projects (Wishes Night and Unbecoming for Volti, A Cricket Needs a Queen, also for The Piedmont Choir Ensemble), Denise wrote this text specifically for this piece. One of the stipulations for the piece was that it include a prominent piano part. Because of that, the piano actually ended up in the poem itself, along with the moon. The visual image of the moon and a piano dancing together is an arresting one, and generated the final dance-like section of the piece.

Mostly, the music follows the linear progression of the text, although the opening stanzas reappear in the swirl of the final dance. Both extended piano techniques and non-sung vocal sounds reflect and support the text and its images.