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Four Imagist Songs

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: Soprano, Oboe, Violin, Tuba

I. In a Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound

II. November Night by Adelaide Crapsey

III. The Skaters by John Gould Fletcher

IV. A Year Passes by Amy Lowell

First Performance: 11/07/2020 

Vanessa Wijaya – soprano;

Katherine McLaughlin – oboe;

Natalie Amano – violin;

Brian Abel – tuba


Imagist songs were inspired by the poems of E. Pound, A. Crapsey, J. G. Fletcher and A. Lowell, who are associated to the Imagism, a radical poetic movement that extended the frontiers of English literature. Imagist style is characterized by direct treatment of the subject, minimal use of adjectives, precision of language, and the development of an individual rhythmic style. These features resonate with my personal taste and my music addition to these poems does not necessarily expand the main ideas, but reinforce them. Each of four movements has an individual harmonic organization, which allowed me to achieve different colors to paint key words. I wrote this short cycle specifically for my New Music Ensemble students. It is a very rare combination of instruments and I could not find any compositions written for it. After spending a lot of time looking, I thought it would be faster to write a piece for this unique group.

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