Three Songs

Three Songs by Joshua Pettus

About the Piece

I wrote this in during my senior year of college. The first song, April Aubade, was written as part of a score call for music for the voice. Looking around for an appropriate poem I could write music to, I settled on April Aubade by Sylvia Plath. I'll admit I had only come across a few bits of her poetry, but those I had usually stuck with me, and this one I thought was perfect. The imagery was something I wanted to see if I could emulate in my music. I got to use various tricks to set the scene throughout the piece from obvious "text painting", "Ascend the steeple of the vane" for instance, or the chirping bird of the piano to accompany the line, "saintly sparrow." Anything that I could do to try to represent someone fondly reminiscing of a time in the garden as children, and then realizing that it was indeed a long time ago. I was so pleased with the end result, I decided to flesh it out a bit and ended up giving it two more songs to accompany it.

Since the first poem was a sonnet, I decided to stick with that format with one from Shakespeare for the second movement. The third movement I decided to shake it up a bit with a different kind of sonnet. I found one that I felt complemented the imagery of the first piece and was a nice opposite in tone to the second one.