Seasons Falling Through the Clouds

The subtitle A Cycle for Voices and Instruments is probably the most succinct (and accurate) description of Seasons Falling Through the Clouds. Not only are there cyclic elements in the music, but the poems work together as parts of a cycle as well. The poems all have times and seasons as their primary or secondary subject matter, as demonstrated in the movement from spring (Blossom), to summer (Two Haiku) and on to late fall (All Hallows). Melodic material is shared by all movements as well. The opening motive of the first movement (E, F#, B, A#) permeates the composition, sometimes in the foreground, sometimes in the background.

Setting off the cyclic unity of the piece is the ordering and character of the individual movements. I deliberately tried to contrast the individual movements musically, based on the obvious differences in the mood of the individual poems. Both Two Haiku and The Ground Mist are slow evocations that are quite dissimilar to the more active textures in Blossom or Rain. All Hallows is a slightly longer movement, and in a sense sums up the entire cycle.

Finally, I should mention the role of the instruments. The piece is a real chamber work; the instruments and the chorus are equal partners in the music. I believe the combination of these forces with current American poetry results in new music that is fresh, challenging, and appealing.

Individual movement titles and authors of poems:
   Blossom (Mary Oliver)
   Two Haiku (Peggy Lyles)
   Rain (Martha Collins)
   The Ground-mist (Denise Levertov)
   All Hallows (Louise G;ück)