Chronolinea

duration: 10:30
instrumentation: Soprano, Flute, Bb clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Violin, Contrabass, Percussion
premiere: April 2, 2009 // Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NYC
premiere performer: thingNY
publisher: A-Town Publications (ASCAP) © 2009

Studio recording + limited edition Vinyl LP + full score available from Bandcamp


Program Note:
Chronolinea, written (2009) for soprano Gelsey Bell and thingNY, is an extension of Chronophobia, an original 2003 work for solo voice. The opening movement pairs extremely soft vocal and instrumental textures creating interplay between sound and silence, contrasted by intense moments divulging the character’s innermost fears. The second movement is bombastic in nature, the orchestration constructed around a central, preachy character.

Text:

I. Written by Erin Rogers

Spider bite, slithering snake, I pray, leave me be, birds, flocking, flying, falling, stand up, wind, wined, fine, line, find, ally, pry, defy, bribe, night, mine, tine, kite, fight, sight, entice, dice, file, wild, crime, sign crying babies, silent nights in fast cars, green, shine, go, hold, light, no, fight, indirect, now, wait, to, follow, slippery, whoa bridge, win, tip, ster, stripe, road, style, rage, speed, red, slide, white, hot, I, ice, slow down the swelling, earth attack of alien states of mind body of water, pan, pick, panic, mix, pix, I, span, so, pick, pull, help, me, shore, hope, a, heave, me, ashore, swim

II. Excerpts from The Last Bison (1890) by Charles Mair (1838-1927) This work has been released into the public domain.

[The Song] Here me, [ye] smokeless skies and grass-green earth, Since by your sufferance still I breathe and live! (Thank you!) Fond Nature gave me birth, And food and freedom–all she had to give. Enough! I grew, and [with my kindred] ranged Their realm stupendous, changeless and unchanged, Save by the toll of nations primitive, Who throve on us, and loved our life-stream’s roar, And lived beside its wave, and camped upon its shore.

[Then fell a double] terror on the plains, The swift inspreading of destruction dire– Strange men, who ravaged our domain On every hand, and ringed us round with fire; Pale enemies who slew with equal mirth The harmless or the hurtful things of earth, In dead fruition of our mad desire: The ministers of mischief and of might, Who yearn for havoc as the world’s supreme delight. (Oh!)

The centuries in dim procession fly! Long ages roll, and then at length is bared (A) time when they who spared not are no longer spared.

Hear me, [thou] grass-green earth, [ye] smokeless skies, Since by your sufferance [still] I breathe and live! (In Rapture) The charity which man denies (For Greed) Ye still would tender to the fugitive! I feel your mercy in my veins–[at length] Too late, too late, [the courage ye would give!] Naught can avail these wounds, this failing breath, This frame which feels [at last] the wily touch of death.