Instrumentation: voice (high or medium) and piano
Text: Tu Fu, translations by Kenneth Rexroth
Premiered by Ariel Graham, soprano, at Humboldt State University, Arcata, California; Fall 1978.
I. Full Moon
III. The Turning Year
IV. Moon, Flowers, Man
Notes: This piece was composed while I was studying with Roger Nixon during my graduate work at San Francisco State University. The work is based on texts by medieval Chinese poets. The poetry was chosen for its simplicity of utterance and its nature imagery. I had recently performed a number of songs by Claude Debussy and was greatly influenced by his speech-like style of text declamation and his impressionistic piano accompaniments. Harmonically, the songs are quasi-tonal in that they center around certain pitch-class areas, with much emphasis on quartal/quintal sonorities and occasional whole-tone elements.