Music Musicology Poetry Gallery

Voices of Night
for Soprano and String Quartet
Needham Series
1985, 14:06 min.


Voices of Night is in five movements. It is based on two poems from my volume Tremblings (1967-1979) dealing with the motive of Night. Three of the movements [I, III, V] include a soprano solo. The work is dedicated to Annelise Laske, the sponsor of the original Needham, MA, studio (1989).


Wishes grown wild
as geraniums, hopes

No sun pierces
the thicket
of smelly blossoms.

Day breathes heavily,
interleaving realities,
then falls dead.

Startled, night commences
at random,
growing to full height.



Night's tongue speaks
over the winds
so high.


Eyes, my dark children,
you never come home
in time.

I call you to rest,
and it is your call
to battle.

My self
into you divided —
a ripe acorn tossed
to the winds.

You are the gate
that opens
over so many lids
of eyes.

Take my dream
and wash it
in the river.

Don't be afraid
of the dark


Voices of Night was premiered by soprano Neva Pilgrim and the Tremont Quartet during a New England Computer Arts Association concert of 1986.