Music Composers Unite!
These six songs were composed in the summer of 2008. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792--1822) wrote these poems between 1814 and his unexpected death, when he drowned at sea. He is known for having been expelled from Oxford for distributing a pamphlet entitled "The Necessity of Atheism." He was married twice, leaving his first wife shortly after writing "Away!," soon thereafter meeting Mary Shelley (of Frankenstein fame), daughter of William Godwin, a literary figure whom Shelley idolized. Two of their three children died in 1818 and 1819. His texts have been criticized for their seemingly abstract surface aesthetic, as well as being praised "splendidly nebulous." With these six songs I have aimed to capture the essence of his writing and depict the masterfully-crafted romantic imagery contained in these poems. I hope that in doing so I manage to enhance their "splendidly nebulous" nature through my music.
II. The Indian Serenade (1819) - Percy Bysshe Shelley
I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright:
I arise from dreams of thee,
And a spirit in my feet
Hath led me—who knows how!
To thy chamber window, Sweet!
The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream—
And the champak odors fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale's complaint,
It dies upon her heart; —
As I must on thine
O belovèd as thou art!
O lift me from the grass!
I die! I faint! I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast; —
O press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last.
Performance Date: June 4, Chicago, IL
For more information on the composer, please visit http://www.melosmusic.com or http://www.jasonthorpebuchanan.com