Six Quatrains


Six Quatrains

Composed to the eponymous poem by the American writer Ursula K. Le Guin, Six Quatrains is a song cycle which captures six unique scenes in autumn, winter and spring. My goal is to make each quatrain a short song that has its own particular character and essence. The ensemble consists of a piano trio, but is broken into smaller combinations throughout the cycle, culminating in the full compliment (piano, violin and cello) playing together only in Hinal song. The different instrumentation for each quatrain reflects the individual character of each scene, and the additive process of enriching instruments introduces different colors as the work unfolds.




Six Quatrains
Ursula K. Le Guin

gold of amber
red of ember
brown of umber
all September

Over the bright shallows
now no flights of swallows.
Leaves of the sheltering willow
dangle thin and yellow.

At four in the morning the west wind
moved in the leaves of the beech tree
with a long rush and patter of water,
first wave of the dark tide coming in.

On the longest night of all the year
in the forests up the hill,
the little owl spoke soft and clear
to bid the night be longer still.

are soft and restless
in their leafy garments
that rustle and sway
making every moment movement.

The dogwood cowered under the thunder
and the lilacs burned like light itself
against the storm-black sky until the hail
whitened the grass with petals.