Vocal

Millay Suite (2017)
Three songs on texts by Edna St. Vincent Millay
For bass-baritone and violin
Commissioned by Timothy Jones and Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio

I. The Concert
II. A Visit to the Asylum
III. Journey

FURNITURE SONGS (2017)
Music by Daniel Zajicek
Words by John Grimmett
Premiere expected in 2017

Song cycle for bass-baritone and piano that examines a man’s relationship with his bedroom furniture over the course of his life.

I. The telephone
II. The mirror
III. Underneath the bed
IV. Teddy
V. The old dresser (words by Daniel Zajicek)

The Clod and the Pebble (2016)
for SATB chorus
Commissioned by Gonçalo Lourenço and ESART
Words, William Blake
Music, Daniel Zajicek

The Old Dresser (2015-16) 
for bass and organ
for Alex Rosen
text by Daniel Zajicek


Friendship (2002-2003) 
for eight female soloists
text by Ralph Waldo Emerson

PROGRAM NOTES

When I started writing this set of choral pieces, my first intention was to pay tribute to the beautiful idea of friendship that Emerson had described in his essay. However, as I worked on the pieces another intention arose:  how to set an old text in a modern way.

Movements I & II set the text in a somewhat more traditional syllabic way while movements III & IV become further removed from the original. The first movement sets the stage, including both sung and spoken elements along with more theatrical features. The text is treated mostly syllabically and word painting is clearer. The second movement also takes advantage of word painting by making the music ‘fleet’ or ‘glow.’ This movement is mostly sung. The third movement is dramatic and divides the text into four different characters, all with their own agenda. Finally, the work ends with the singers using only the first letter of each word and singing in a free-like manner. In this way the progression from intelligible to purely musical is achieved.


Text:
A ruddy drop of manly blood
The surging sea outweighs,
The world uncertain comes and goes,
The lover rooted stays.
I fancied he was fled,
And, after many a year,
Glowed unexhausted kindliness
Like daily sunrise there.
My careful heart was free again, —
O friend, my bosom said,
Through thee alone the sky is arched,
Through thee the rose is red,
All things through thee take nobler form,
And look beyond the earth,
And is the mill-round of our fate
A sun-path in thy worth.
Me too thy nobleness has taught
To master my despair;
The fountains of my hidden life
Are through thy friendship fair.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson
taken from Friendship (1841)


LISTEN

Movement 1


Movement 2


Movement 3


Movement 4


Friendship movement III (2007)
arranged and recomposed for SATB
text by Ralph Waldo Emerson


PROGRAM NOTES

In this rendition of the third movement, I have re-composed the materials that I used for the original octet setting, and have simplified elements. This led me down different directions in the hopes of making it more ‘choral-like.’ Below is the part of the poem that I use for this movement.


Text:
My careful heart was free again, —
O friend, my bosom said,
Through thee alone the sky is arched,
Through thee the rose is red,
All things through thee take nobler form,
And look beyond the earth,
And is the mill-round of our fate
A sun-path in thy worth.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
taken from Friendship (1841)


Voices on recording: Katina Mitchell, Meghan Tarkington, Keith Stonum, Dan Zajicek, Michael Sumuel, Mark watley, & conducted by Hsiao-Lan Wang.
October 8th, 2007 · Rice University


Video from a performance at Arkansas Governor’s School.