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Notes of Daybreak

Notes of Daybreak

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Published by Kyle Vanderburg

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Published by: Kyle Vanderburg on May 07, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Notes ofDaybreak
High Voice and Piano
   K  y   l  e   V  a  n   d  e  r   b  u  r  g
First Performance on October 6, 2008, by Kristin Whiteman, mezzo-soprano and Carlyle Sharpe, piano, at Drury University, Springfield, Missouri 
Notes of Daybreak 
is a four movement song cycle for high voice and piano, based on the poetry of Walt Whitman. Thetexts for each of the four movements come from the Walt Whitman poem of the same name. Each movement is written ina different style, allowing each piece to have its own feel and emotional impact. In every case, the text was relied uponheavily to shape the structure and melody. The accompaniment utilizes many techniques, arpeggios, snippets of themelody, traditional chords and harmonies, octatonicism, and various rhythmic devices, to support the soloist. The first song in the cycle was also the first to be composed.
That Music Always Round Me 
was originally intended to be astandalone song, rather than the first song in a cycle, however after writing this, I decided I’d like to write more. Thesetting of the text for this song was begun in late December 2007, making this the only song in the cycle to be startedbefore 2008. The second song,
I Heard You Solemn-Sweet Pipes of the Organ 
, was actually the third song to be composed, and was not nearly as easy as the first two. I struggled to find a unique tone, but after watching Stephen Sondheim’s
, I was inspiredby the accompaniment to the song 
 Another Hundred People 
. After deciding on a similar accompaniment, the song wroteitself. Writing for voice rather than for instrumental ensemble poses a different host of problems. The third song,
The Last Invocation 
, existed in at least three different manifestations before it became the piece being performed tonight. Betweenbeing unsure how exactly to set the text, and how to make the accompaniment fit the mood of the text, I was originally unsure of how to go about writing this piece, but eventually I found that a mix of major sonorities of rolled chords suitedthe piece well.Finally, the cycle ends with
I Hear America Singing 
, which took inspiration from Carlyle Sharpe’s
I Hear the Dance-Music of All  Nations 
. This song changed the least from original idea to final product, as one could see from the original sketches. It isalso the most challenging of the set due to the crazy use of time signatures, which change nearly every bar.For updated information regarding this work:Duration: 10’20”Engraved and Printed by NoteForge80 Musk LanePoplar Bluff, MO 63901http://www.noteforge.com
 All texts taken from
Leaves of Grass 
by Walt Whitman
That Music Always Round Me 
 That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning, yet long untaught I did not hear,But now the chorus I hear and am elated, A tenor, strong, ascending with power and health, with gladnotes of daybreak I hear, A soprano at intervals sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense waves, A transparent base shuddering lusciously under and throughthe universe, The triumphant tutti, the funeral wailings with sweet flutes and violins, all these I fill myself with,I hear not the volumes of sound merely, I am moved by theexquisite meanings,I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving,contending with fiery vehemence to excel each other inemotion;I do not think the performers know themselves--but now I think begin to know them.
I Heard You Solemn-Sweet Pipes of the Organ 
I heard you solemn-sweet pipes of the organ as last Sunday mornI pass’d the church, Winds of autumn, as I walk’d the woods at dusk I heard yourlong-stretch’d sighs up above so mournful,I heard the perfect Italian tenor singing at the opera, I heard thesoprano in the midst of the quartet singing;Heart of my love! you too I heard murmuring low through one of the wrists around my head,Heard the pulse of you when all was still ringing little bells lastnight under my ear.

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