Dedicated to: Tony Arnold and Third Angle New Music
World Premiere: October 21, 2017 at Bowstring-Truss House in Portland, Oregon
Much of my music reflects an appreciation for the beauty held within the seemingly insignificant minutiae that comprise the grandness of everyday life and, in terms of musical inspiration, Invocation comes from this place. Geoffrey Nutter frequently writes about mythology, nature, plainness and mundanity, and I return to his poems time and time again for his use of "motivic" language that tells a story while phrases wander, stall, and twist. Lastly, my experience with his poetry is one which demands presence—his words center my mind in a noisy world of distractions and sing themselves right off the page and into my ears. It is my hope that you have a similar experience while listening.
I have been holding on to "Invocation" for some time and knew that I wanted to set the poem for voice and strings. When the opportunity to compose for Tony Arnold and the members of Third Angle through the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy, I realized that it was time to do so! Key words that remained in my mind while composing this setting were "reverence," "motion," "summoning," "entanglement," and "stillness," and it is my hope that without painting too detailed of a picture for the reader, these simple words will aide in drawing connections to my interpretation of Geoffrey's poem with the musical setting as each played an influential role in terms of harmony, texture, counterpoint, and affect.