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November 29, 2018, 7:30pm

Bloomingdale School of Music

(323 West 108th Street, NY 10025)





A intimate evening of chamber vocal music. Every year, we select a featured piece to set the tone for the Showcase. Last year, we selected Paola Prestini’s Body Maps, years before we have selected pieces by Kate Soper, Alex Burtzos and Nina Young. This year, we have commissioned a piece written collaboratively by Devony Smith and Spencer Snyder. 



Dorothy Hindman

Veronika Krausas

Robert McClure

Eric Moe

Spencer Snyder

Devony Smith




Alicia Bisha, violin

Denise Crawfort, voice

Sarah Dutcher, piano

Jillian Flexner, electronics

Brittany Fowler, voice

Timothy Leonard, cello

Sammy Lesnick, clarinet

Victoria Lewis, violin

Cara Search, voice

Michelle Siemens, voice



Lavished Sunlight

Music by Eric Moe (NYC Premiere)
Words by Richard Wilber
        I.  Two Songs in a Stanza of Beddoes'
        II. Anterooms
        Denise Crawfort, voice
        Maureen Kelly, cello
        Sarah Dutcher, piano

The pair of poems interlock seasonally: the first is a lament for the lost beauty of summer and welcomes “tender winter”, while the second begins with a thaw of the “frozen hours”. A deeper connection is revealed at the end of the piece, where, before our ears, past and present “meet without surprise”.Lavished Sunlight, Frozen Hours was commissioned by Monadnock Music for a concert honoring the poet, and was completed in May 2009.


Hopscotch Tarot
Music by Veronika Krausas (NYC Premiere)
Words by Tom Jacobson
        1.  Hell                                7.  Death
        2.  The Ghost                    8.  The Motorcycle
        3.  The Gondola                9.  The Puppet
        4.  The Musician             10. The Driver
        5. The Red Notebook     11. The Angels
        6. The Lovers                   12. The City
        Michele Siemens, voice
        Alicia Bisha, violin

The Hopscotch Tarot Song Cycle was commissioned by The Industry (Los Angeles) as part of the mobile opera Hopscotch in Los Angeles in 2015.  This was part of Chapter 15, the China Town Scene where Lucha (the protagonist) is searching for her missing husband and consults a fortune teller and her horoscope comes alive in China Town Plaza. There are 12 tarot cards created for the opera that reflect different elements in the overall work.  The text is written by Tom Jacobson and the artwork for the tarot cards is by Renée Reynolds.


The Divide
Music by Spencer Snyder & Devony Smith (World Premiere)
Words by Matt Taibbi

       Devony Smith, voice
       Myla Kato-Duvally, piano

Commissioned by Fresh Squeezed Opera 

This piece seeks to expose the criminalization of poverty in America by telling the story of an immigrant woman struggling to make ends meet as she raises her six children in Los Angeles. As Matthew Taibbi succinctly states, “we have a profound hatred of the weak and the poor, and a corresponding groveling terror before the rich and successful, and we’re building a bureaucracy to match those feelings.” Money has defined the meaning of justice, distorting the very notion of American citizenship and challenging the founding ideals of its nation


now our grief is put away

Music by Robert McClure
Words by Anne Shaw

       Cara Search, voice
       Jillian Flexner, electronics

Shaw's poem leapt off the page with its vivid imagery and haunting descriptions of the        tsunami that occurred on December 24, 2004 in the Southeast Pacific, which included Thailand, the setting for this poem. The tsunami killed between five and ten thousand people and devastated all that survived. The poem is filled with ---- own description of her experience in the relief efforts, sayings from Thai culture, and descriptions from survivors of the tsunami. ---- writes, “Thai culture allows a mourning period of 100 days, after which the soul of the departed - and the lives of the living - must move on,” as a description for the line, now our grief is put away.

The Pillow Book
Music by Dorothy Hindman
Words by Rebecca Lindenberg
       On a walk through the flea market.
       Things that tourists are always snapping photos of.
       Things that tourists seem not to see.
       Things Emily has said in restaurants.
       On Silence.
       Things might discover amid large buildings.
       Reasons one might want to leave New York.

       Brittany Fowler, voice
       Jarrett Hoffman, clarinet
       Victoria Lewis, violin
       Timothy Leonard, cello
       Sarah Dutcher, piano

The Pillow Book is a song cycle originally commissioned by the Goliard Ensemble. The music is immediate and multi-layered, creating an alluring soundscape in a single continuous movement, but with definite divisions. The work progresses from observation of the external, physical realm to observations of the internal, metaphysical and then back. Musical ideas associated with specific poetic images are recalled throughout, adding further dimension to the layers of text. Throughout, the idea of song is foremost: the wedding of text and music to enhance both. 



Image credits: Jillian Flexner

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