Off the Deep End

ENS.068a | 9.26.06-10.11.06 | 28’
Soprano, Piano

Recording In The Works…

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Off the Deep End
Poems by Matthea Harvey from “Sad Little Breathing Machine”

  1. Introduction to the World
  2. Not So Much Miniature As Far Away
  3. The Unconsciousness of Feelings
  4. Machine for Jean Rhys
  5. Color by Number
  6. To Zanzibar By Motorcar
  7. Snowglobe Hypothesis
  8. Life Size Is What We Are (A New History of Photography)
  9. Bird Transfer
  10. Can We See
  11. A Ruffle, A Rendezvous
  12. Our Square Of Lawn
  13. Going Off The Deep End Into Confectionery

Matthea Harvey is one of my all-time favorite poets, even before she was nice to me. Her poem Everything Must Go, published in The New Yorker many years ago, so blew me away I set it (badly) in Late Sun and immediately set out in search of more. Her book Sad Little Breathing Machine was a revelation, and lent its title to another of my pieces before I went ahead and set a selection from its pages. In October 2006 I got sick, as I tend to about every year around that time, and instead of moping around I spent my convalescence setting a variety of Matthea’s poems. Eventually I chose the thirteen best among these settings and arranged them in an order which, following the introduction, begins energetically and gradually subsides into languor over the half-hour course of the work. Additionally, the songs make their way through all thirteen scale degrees, beginning in C, moving to B, and thence downward to C-level again (hah!). There is a version for small ensemble of five of these songs, also called Off the Deep End. I would like to thank Matthea for her enthusiasm for this project, and the cycle is dedicated to her.

Off the Deep End (Ensemble Version)

ENS.068b | 2008 | 8’
Soprano, Flute, Bass Clarinet, Marimba, Piano, Cello

Midi Rendition of “Color By Number”
Midi Rendition of “Can We See”
Midi Rendition of “Not So Much Miniature As Far Away”
Midi Rendition of “A Ruffle, A Rendezvous”
Midi Rendition of “Machine for Jean Rhys”

Download PDF of Score

Off the Deep End (Ensemble Version)
Poems by Matthea Harvey from “Sad Little Breathing Machine”

  1. Color by Number
  2. Can We See
  3. Not So Much Miniature as Far Away
  4. A Ruffle, A Rendezvous
  5. Machine for Jean Rhys