Pictures of the Floating World (2011)

For soprano and tuba (2011)



This recording features members of the Great Noise Ensemble performing at the 2013 New Voices @ CUA Festival in Washington, DC.


9 min.


Voice and tuba


Amy Lowell : Pictures of the Floating World


I. From a Window
II. Sunshine
III. Meditation
IV. A Burnt Offering
V. Interlude
VI. A Lover
VII. Ephemera
VIII. By Messenger

Program Notes

Amy Lowell’s collection of poems entitledPictures of the Floating World(1919) is a set of poignant haiku-like works. The title of the book is a literal translation of the Japanese word “Ukiyo-e”, which is a genre of paintings and woodcut prints dating back to the seventeenth century. The subject matter of such artworks often includes landscapes, historical tales, and images taken from the theater. In a sense, they are vignettes frozen in time, and Lowell’s poems capture that property magically. In this eponymous set of songs for soprano and tuba, I have set seven of Lowell’s poems(with an interlude for solo tuba). Like the texts, the songs are brief, and the sparse textures reflect the simple power of the words


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