P’tites chansons d’amour (2010)
mezzo-soprano, bass clarinet, cello, harp
7 min. 30 sec.
I. L’on revient toujours (text: Charles-Guillaume Étienne)
II. Maîtresse, embrasse-moi (text: Pierre de Ronsard)
III. Rossignol du vert bocage (text: trad. French-Canadian)
- Premiered by Jennifer York- mezzo, Mike Dowler- bass clarinet, Doug Gorkoff- cello, and Lani Krantz- harp, at Sonic Boom Festival, Western Front, Vancouver, 24 March, 2011.
P’tites chansons d’amour is a miniature song cycle, conceived as something simple, pure, and folk-like. The three songs are loosely bound together by the common theme of love— which is of course anything but pure or simple. The text was taken from three different French authors: Charles-Guillaume Étienne (1778-1845), Pierre de Ronsard (1524-85), and the third by an unknown early French Canadian. The text follows the remembrance of a first love, the passion of lovers, and eventually the bittersweetness of leaving a lover. Two of the three texts are specifically addressing a female mistress/lover (written from the masculine point of view), yet I chose to use a female voice to deliver the text in this cycle. This could be seen as a comment on gender roles in relationships, but also simply as an observation that the emotions expressed in these texts are universal.
The Brain (2002)
tenor voice, bass clarinet, piano
6 min. 40 sec.
text by Emily Dickinson
- performed at SFU Theatre, March 2002