hesheyoumeus (2013)

Written for the San Francisco Conservatory's Hot Air Music Festival
Premiered March 3, 2013 by Jill Morgan Brenner at the Hot Air Music Festival in San Francisco, CA

(amplified soprano and 2 channel electronics)

hesheyoumeus, a work for amplified soprano and electronics, is an exploration, both literally and figuratively, of the interconnectivity of love and creativity. Particularly, what happens when your identity is wrapped up in these two concepts and they begin to simultaneously fall apart. In the first two movements, the singer begins to conflate words until they lose their definition. (mvt. i love/voice, mvt. ii he/she). As each movement develops we lose sense of what words the singer is singing and are left only with the vowels. In the final movement, we hear the background story, but even this breaks down in the climax where we are left only with the word (or vowel?) “i” as the singer loses herself in the cascading waves of electronic sound.

The electronics themselves are also built around the idea of “lost identity” as well. The sounds are developed by taking small fragments of popular songs and heavily manipulating them with various digital filters and effects. This results in sounds that relate to the popular music of our time whilst taking on a new identity. Built almost entirely out of loops, drones, and with diatonic melodic material, these three movements are more akin to pop songs than ‘classical’ music. Well, maybe ‘pop music’ from a planet in a galaxy far, far away.

text by Chris Cresswell

mvt. i ‘my love/my voice’

my love
my voice
is failing

mvt. ii ‘(s)he’


we are self destructing
still all i see is love

in this blistered silence
all i hear is love

mvt. iii ‘drifting’

the darkness of the room is magnified
only by the loneliness of her presence

her pretense.

as i lie awake
she is slowly drifting asleep

she is slowly drifting
she is slowly drifting
she is slowly drifting away

there is a vacuum growing between us
and i can’t hear her siren song
and i can’t hear her

and i
and i

and i’m drifting
i’m drifting