for SATB chorus


3 minutes

Poetry: E. E. Cummings

Commission: University of New Orleans

Premiere: University Chorale
New Orleans, Apr 2, 1976

Publisher: music 70

1. Buffalo Bill’s defunct
2. O sweet spontaneous earth

Composer Notes: The first piece employs startling contrasts, from Renaissance counterpoint to an harshly dissonant, chromatic close. The second piece moves from a reflective opening to a triumphant close.

This is one of the first of my compositions to hint at the playful attitude toward musical language that frequently shows up in the works I composed after 1978. I was inspired to move this direction in this case by Cummings’s playful, mixed, and dramatic use of language in “Buffalo Bill’s defunct.”