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Program Notes: K, L

Kali, She Who Devours Time
  Kali (pronounced like the dog breed, collie) is a complex and multi-faceted Hindu goddess, often depicted as a fearsome, dark, and long-tongued demon.  In some traditions Kali is known for destroying ignorance, and aiding those who seek sublime knowledge. Her name can be understood as a synonym for death, or devourer of time.
  Kali, She who devours time, for violin and piano, was written in 2006 for violinist Charlotte Munn-Wood, who had already named her own beloved instrument Kali.  In spite of the somewhat violent, destructive connotations of the title, Kali is quite gentle and coaxing, perhaps emphasizing the “seeking sublime knowledge” side of the goddess.  I intended it as an invitation to Charlotte, who was then all of sixteen, into the world of new music performance.  She premiered it in 2009, with Faith Loewe at the piano.

Lauber Lieder
The four songs are titled The Slowly Opening Rose, I Have Washed And Buttoned Up, Geese Along The Flowage, and The Sermon. The texts, by Peg Lauber, are all concerned with the theme of coping with and overcoming the burdens and challenges of life: the rose blooms but to die and renew; the child uses the pattern of daily life to cope with the loss of her mother; the chick struggles to rise from the flowage to go with the flock; and, the feeling, rhythm and power of a sermon newly inspire us. The songs are conceived as a set, but can be performed individually. Commissioned and premiered by Nancy L. Walker. Published by Arsis Press.  College and beyond.

Libero Arbitrio
  Libero Arbitrio is the namesake of its commissioner, Arbitrio ("ar-BEE-tree-oh")--oboist Alicia Cordoba Tait, bassoonist Douglas Spaniol, and pianist Bradley Haag.  It was premiered by the group in 2000 and has since been performed throughout the Midwestern United States, in St. Petersburg, Russia, and in Buenos Aires. 
  The title, Libero Arbitrio, is Italian for "free will" and is a fun spin-off of the group¹s name which takes its name from a suo arbitrio, meaning the musicians should perform "at their pleasure."  While my thoughts about free will and its counterpart predetermination had an important impact on the writing of Libero Arbitrio,  what is more audible is the use of evolving ostinatos, references to the syncopation and metric aspects of jazz, and the at times operatic treatment of the instruments in the solo and duet sections.  Published by JOMAR Press.



The term 'lift' has a nice referential flexibiltiy without losing its essential meaning in changing contexts: we lift up our voice in song, we lift up revenue, we lift an object down, and we even lift (or steal) something. Lift is built on three gestures that, once established, are developed quite continously. One gesture is simply a continuous upward pitch contour, another is a continuous downward flow of pitches, and the third is a faster, nervous, embellished gesture that expresses the building of energy towards one of the other gestures. Lift is a companion piece to Rift and both were commissioned by Claricello.


Like Any Pilgrim
The text for Like Any Pilgrim was written by Peg Lauber, a Wisconsin poet.  A series of text similes "("Like a hawk...Like an old shell...The moon is like smoke") presents images of openness, sensitivity, expectation, and celebration. The refrain "Like any pilgrim I travel light, shining my own lantern" is presented at first as a solo statement. By the end of the piece it has transformed into a joyous chorale, many pilgrims joined together on a journey to new lands. Amasong, directed by Margot Rejskind, commissioned Like Any Pilgrim in celebration of their 10th anniversary in 2000.  Premiered by them in May 2000.  Published by Yelton Rhodes Music.  Recorded by Amasong.  College; Adult women.

Lyrical Limericks
Lyrical Limericks is a musical setting of eight limericks written especially for this project, each intended to capture an aspect of the lives of the young women who would be singing it.  Some are whimsical (piercing, vampires, Harry Potter) while others address weightier topics (dating and marriage, athletics, and feminism).  A recurring section ("Once upon a time...") begins and ends the piece and also groups the limericks into three sections.  The lyricists are Peg Lauber, Marilyn L. Taylor, Paul Munn, and Zae Munn.  Lyrical Limericks is the result of a consortium commission headed by conductor Robert Geary.  

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