This will be the third of five movements in The City and the Sea, the E.E. Cummings cycle I’m writing for SATB choir and piano. It uses the same ‘oven-mitt’ technique that I’m using in the others, but this time the piano plays it arpeggiated, with lost of sustain pedal.
Here is the poem:
maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and
milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea
And here are the first three pages of the sheet music (sorry for the typos – this is a first draft from the publisher):
And here is a rough recording from the concert last month at Denver University, the Lamont Chorale singing; JoAnn Gudvangen-Brown, pianist. It was the first time I conducted the piece: