Luna (2017)

Duration ca. 20'
Instrumentation SSAATTBB choir, flute, Bb clarinet, violin, cello
Composed in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements for Master of Arts from Eastman School of Music
Dedicated to my dear friends and talented colleagues of the Taylor Festival Choir
Premiere TBA, Taylor Festival Choir

Four movements:
       I. As Dawn Forgets Them Now
       II. Her Dimities of Blue
       III. The Least Command
       IV. The Sapphire Fellows

Text Emily Dickinson

The moon is distant from the Sea,
And yet with amber hands
She leads him, docile as a boy,
Along appointed sands.

He never misses a degree;
Obedient to her eye,
He comes just so far toward the town,
Just so far goes away.

Oh, Signor, thine the amber hand,
And mine the distant sea, –
Obedient to the least command
Thine eyes impose on me.


The skies can't keep their secret!
They tell it to the hills—
The hills just tell the orchards—
And they the daffodils!

A Bird, by chance, that goes that way
Soft overheard the whole.
If I should bribe the little bird,
Who knows but she would tell?

I think I won't, however,
It's finer not to know;
If summer were an axiom,
What sorcery had snow?

So keep your secret, Father!
I would not, if I could,
Know what the sapphire fellows do,
In your new-fashioned world!


The moon upon her fluent route
Defiant of a road,
The stars Etruscan argument,
Substantiate a God.
If Aims impel these Astral Ones,
The Ones allowed to know,
Know that which makes them as forgot
As Dawn forgets them now.


The moon was but a chin of gold
A night or two ago,
And now she turns her perfect face
Upon the world below.

Her forehead is of amplest blonde;
Her cheek like beryl stone;
Her eye unto the summer dew
The likest I have known.

Her lips of amber never part;
But what must be the smile
Upon her friend she could bestow
Were such her silver will!

And what a privilege to be
But the remotest star!
For certainty her way might pass
Beside your twinkling door.

Her bonnet is the firmament,
The universe her shoe,
The stars the trinkets at her belt,
Her dimities of blue.