"Soul Perching" (2015) for soprano, clarinet and cello
For Soprano, Clarinet and Cello
Commissioned by Lucy Shelton for premiere at the Resonant Bodies Festival
Dedicated to Lucy Shelton
Soul Perching is at its heart a musical response to Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers.” The piece is also a personal reflection on the feeling of “hope,” and on how nuanced and complex the feelings associated with this single word can be. “Hope” can be felt under many guises – through a sense of excitement, but also anxiety, as it leads us inexorably forward toward a goal; or through the tranquility created in the present as we long for something imagined and not yet realized in the future; or through hope’s flighty nature, as it leaves us only to return to its perch time and time again, always optimistic as it comforts us, yet also gently toys with us.
Soul Perching was composed for, and is dedicated to, soprano Lucy Shelton with admiration and gratitude. Soul Perching may be paired with Canon for Three in performance.