The Dong With A Luminous Nose

ENS.076c | 2007/2011 | 11’
Female or Male Voice, Piano 4-Hands

Midi Rendition of “The Dong With A Luminous Nose”

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The Dong With A Luminous Nose
Poem by Edward Lear

The Music of the Spheres was a problematic composition from 2007 setting four rhyming, metered narrative poems from the nineteenth century for voice with electronics or pre-recorded tape. In that piece I wanted to emphasize the similarities between contemporary popular music and earlier centuries’ romantic ballads. However, I was never satisfied with the several versions I had made of the original score, which did not specify instrumentation beyond three keyboard parts and a rhythmic skeleton to be realized by a drummer.

Of the four movements, I always felt the first and most substantial, a setting of Edward Lear’s darkling nonsense poem The Dong With A Luminous Nose, was by far the strongest, and I wanted to make a transcription for acoustic instruments that would nevertheless retain the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic flavor of the original. This version for voice with piano four-hands is the result. (The other movements did not lend themselves to similar treatment and are not included in this arrangement.)