Surprising the Air
Song for soprano and piano
Soprano range: from d-sharp 4 to g 5
Duration: 8.5 minutes
Score sample: Surprising the Air
Poem: “Cotton Dust” by Veronica Patterson
Publication: Available for purchase at Subito Music Distribution.
Composer Notes: Poet Veronica Patterson, inspired by the Lewis W. Hine photograph seen above, wrote the poem “Cotton Dust” in the voice of a young woman working in a southern cotton mill in 1911. In the poem the young woman reveals some of her personal history. I found the poem’s emotional scope so deeply moving that as soon as I read it I approached Veronica about setting it to music. The title comes from one of the poem's final lines.