for soprano and chamber ensemble


Premiered Tuesday November 20th, 2007, Alfred Newman Recital Hall, Los Angeles, CA
USC Contemporary Music Ensemble
Alexandra Loutsion, soprano
Donald Crockett, conductor

Sharp is a song cycle based on a set of poems by Jillian Burcar. I was struck by their direct and powerful imagery, and I wanted to set her words in a way that amplified their emotional qualities without compromising their original spirit. Using a combination of sung and spoken text, parts of her poems are presented more than once, in different ways, reflecting the conflicted nature of the speaker. The three songs also comprise a narrative arc, progressing from anger in “Poison Bones” through introspection in “Crayola Girl” to something else entirely in “With Such Teeth” (which, according to Jillian, was written while listening to “Mack the Knife”).

(Note: a version for soprano with piano accompaniment is also available.)


For full score and parts, contact the composer.

View Fullscreen