When only the moon rages

SATB choir + SATB quartet, 14' (2014)

Three songs on texts by Dylan Thomas: I. In my craft or sullen art / II. We walked through the trees / III. Clown in the Moon

I began this piece as an exploration of the darker elements of my compositional style, particularly focusing on how I might translate these elements into an idiom that works in a choral setting. I find Dylan Thomas’s poetry to be one of the most perfect examples of works that have darkness without excessive grandstanding or self-pity, making them perfect for me. These three in particular attracted me because of their brevity, lyricism, and pinpricks of light amidst the darkness. I believe that the most distinctive thing about my style and about these pieces in particular is my harmonic language – these pieces have helped me develop my own version of chromaticism without a settling point, appropriate to the lack of settling Thomas’s work. With this piece, I worked through my “dark side” and transformed it into something that sings well, therefore adding pinpricks of light. I believe that when you embrace and work through instead of run away from your darkness, there is hope, and I feel I have communicated this in the soundscapes of this piece.