The Song Goes On
Tenor and Piano
The Song Goes On is a dramatic art song for tenor and piano. The song is an odd being: a mischievous lyric about an unwelcome rooster en-souled with a musical heart that suggests awe and profundity. I set the tongue-in-cheek narrative against a harmonic landscape of superimposed suspended chords to draw out the darker hues of the story. Those superimposed chords, along with the rest of the song's pitch material, are derived from two parallel linear sequences, one sequence containing the cycle of fourths within a single octave, and the other, its inverse, containing the cycle of fifths within a single octave.
The song begins in the cold emptiness of "the abandoned night" with a chaconne built on the two sequences and slowly progresses in intensity and tempo as the minor annoyance of the rooster's crow becomes more and more infuriating, finally culminating in a frenzied chase and a single gunshot, leaving only emptiness in the rooster's stead. The tenor acts as both narrator and rooster, giving the strange effect of schizophrenia, while the virtuosic piano moves with a continual flow of color and rhythm.
Semi-Finalist, American Prize in Composition, Chamber Music Student Division 2016
Featured in CFAMC Monthly Newsletter, April 2015