Hymns from the Apocalypse
for baritone and piano, 6' 30"
Premiered by Clayton Underwood and Yukiko Oba at the Boston Conservatory on
30th March, 2017.
Hymns from the Apocalypse depicts the harsh reality of war - the true nature of war not depicted in patriotic songs and movies. The piece is divided into two sections - a hymn-like melody that I felt would capture the essence of Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est - a hymn sung on the obliterated battlefield at the end of a devastating battle in World War I. I used the final stanza of this poem as an introduction to the passionate Tears by Walt Whitman, where the melody is primarily based on a minor 6th leap, resolving down a step to a perfect 5th - a motif that I found to be extremely haunting, reflecting the evocative nature of the poem.