Night Singing (2004) is a four-movement work intended to convey those hours of the very late evening and early morning, a time when I am often awake and at my most productive and reflective. It is during this time where my emotional states of anxiety, energy, creativity, calmness, and loneliness, all seem to be at their most intense. I have chosen four poetic fragments of the beautifully dark poetry of Charles Baudelaire to help define each of the movement’s specific expressive qualities. That Hour is intended to convey a state of almost hyper-anxiety (for me a frequent state of pre-creativity). Suddenly, Bells reflects those brief bursts of creative energy- an almost static experience that can take days, even weeks, for me to sort out. I have often thought of this experience as the resonance of the sounds of bells. With Bach Dreams an unfolding contemplative state reveals my deep love of this music and the distant, yet still lingering dreams I had of it in childhood. A Crying Horn presents the bass clarinet as a lonely voice in a dark and empty night- an expression of both the struggling and quiet intensity of loneliness just before slipping, finally, into sleep.
Night Singing was commissioned by, and is dedicated to, Zeitgeist.