The more I compose, and the more I teach composition, the more I think about memory. After all, to write engaging music, the composer has to rely on the memory of their audience. Whether it is the memory of an earlier theme, an expectation that is met in an unexpected way, or writing in a style reminiscent of times past, we rely on the audience to cover the rift. Fittingly, Mnemosyne, by the American poet Trumbull Stickney (1874-1904), is named after the Greek goddess of memory and the mother of the nine Muses. Stickney tells a story of remembrance and nostalgia, relying on our own memories and supplying us with more, with the refrain of the country we remember.
released July 12, 2020
Words by Trumbull Stickney
Music by Kyle Vanderburg
performed by the First Readings Project
conducted by J. David Moore