Composer: Sofia Nehama
Text: Dylan Thomas
Kyle Lang - Vibraphone
Sofia Nehama - Voice
Clown In The Moon is adapted from the homonymous Dylan Thomas poem. To me, the otherworldly timbre of vibraphone was the obvious choice to carry this text’s dissociative melancholy. The voice and vibraphone imitate one another quite a lot, but never lapse into homophony. I use these textures to mimic the disorienting codependence of grief and beauty articulated in the text.
I let the text guide my writing. For example, the word “rift" is separated from its antecedent phrase by a chromatic ostinato of syncopated 16th notes, then silence. The word also straddles a an angular motif - a 16th note figure transposed down by a major 2nd, followed by a tritone leap into a static, fortissimo whole note.
While the above is an extreme case, my intention is that even the subtler gestures compel listeners to savor the dignity and importance of their accompanying poetry.
My tears are like the quiet drift
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.
I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.