Plain Truths redux

PlainTruthsPostExI’ve hit the double bar on the expansion of Plain Truths, my song cycle for baritone and string quartet originally premiered in 2011. Randall Scarlata sings the new version in Newburyport, Massachusetts November 16th with the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival String Quartet and The Candlelight Chorale, Jay Lane, Music Director. David Yang is the Festival’s Artistic Director and the Quartet’s violist.

It is now seven songs, from five, and includes optional chorus on the two new songs and on two of the older ones. It clocks in at about 28 minutes. I originally set texts from authors who lived in Newburyport in past centuries.

The two new texts are more contemporary. Tom Coleman, who died only six years ago, wrote “Remember Meho?” for a book of town reminiscences. The piece I just finished, “Homing In,” is from a poem by longtime local newspaperman Bill Plante, whom I hope to meet at the concert.

I’m particularly happy with how these came out. Plante’s is a heartfelt longing for a time and for friends that are past. I was struck by its poignancy, but surprised by the same emotion coming to me from Coleman’s, after it first eluded me. Here’s his entire text:

“Remember Meho? He met every train and was at every parade with his camera. He snapped pictures everywhere, but never had any film in the camera.”

Can’t wait to hear the new cycle! But first to extract the new parts, and finish the piano reduction.

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