LIGHTING ME AS A MATCH (1968)
(Three Scenes of Day) for Tenor Voice, Violin, F Horn, Piano, and Percussion, 1968
The music is set to three texts by Priscilla McLean, sung by the tenor for each of the three movements. Mvt.1: Dawn: “Gray light dawning, growing redder, glowing brighter. Ignorant was the waking, sorrowful and dark, the waking; sorrowful and confused with angry sleep. From the window came the redness, slowly seeping inside— lighting me as a match! How strong the urge to leap from the window into life!” Mvt. 2: Midday: “In the bed a seed was planted two weeks ago. It has grown is growing. Death is in the hot dryness of the streets, and in the houses people die, living, running to nowhere. But see how the thing you cared to plant grows.” Mvt. 3: Dusk: “Day is closing, the light fades. Time has gone, and only peace remains. Long ago were many urns, filled with desires. Now all are drained empty. Let the day end, and rest come.”
Premiere: Indiana University, 1968. Bill McDonald, tenor soloist, Edward Forner, conductor. Joan Barrett, violin, Peggy Robinson, horn, Bill Schutt, piano, Ron Heller, percussion. Recording session afterwards is the version heard on the sound file.