about 22 minutes
soprano, flute, percussion (1 player), piano and cello
Lisa Williams, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, and excerpts from the Papyri Graecae Magicae
Visitation of Witches
The Diadem of Moses
Anatomy of a Skylark
Songs from Bass Garden was composed in my studio, in the Bass Garden at the American Academy in Rome. It is located atop the Janiculum, the highest hill of Rome. The work is an exploration of the mystical and almost bewitching changes that I and my fellow Rome Prize recipients have experienced in the last year.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the Janiculum hill is named after the God Janus, often depicted as a two faced God responsible for bringing changes and new directions in one’s life. Janus is the Roman god of gates and doors (ianua), beginnings and endings, and hence represented with a double-faced head, each looking in opposite directions. Janus also represents the transition between primitive life and civilization, between the countryside and the city, peace and war, and the growing-up of young people.
Songs from Bass Garden is a mythical, enchanting and sometimes painful spiritual and creative journey through a world populated by artists, musicians, poets, composers, witches and gods.