Songs of Bert Meyers (2013)

listen to the premiere performance:

Bert_Meyers_at_deskcommissioned by Art of Élan
Dedication: to watercolor daysBeing as Art of Élan is an intrepid chamber music series based in San Diego, California, and I a New York-based composer, I wanted to bridge the 3,000 mile distance between the two cities by discovering why people move to California — and with that, I turned to an anthology of California Poetry assembled to Dana Gioia.  Hoping to find triumphant drinking songs from the Gold Rush era, I was most captivated by two poems of Bert Meyers, and focused on his work entirely, choosing liberally from a volume of his collected poems,  “In a Dybbuk’s Raincoat“.

Meyers’s poems were destined to be sung – they are haunting, minimal, direct, and tell a California story from a perspective similar to my own — that of a young Jewish-American father, raising two kids in a time of unrest.

I am so grateful to Bert Meyers’s son, Daniel Meyers, for permitting me to use these texts, to Art of Élan for their gracious commission and beautiful recording, and of course to you, for listening. Enjoy!

For the complete lyrics, please see here.

CATEGORY chamber music with vocal
INSTRUMENTATION female voice, woodwind quintet (flute/alto-flute, oboe/english-horn, clarinet/bass-clarinet, bassoon), harp, string quartet (violin-viola-cello-bass)
DURATION approximately 17 minutes
WORLD PREMIERE April 30, 2013 at the San Diego Museum of Art [LISTEN]
and Art of Élan: Demarre McGill (Flute); Andrea Overturf (Oboe); Bill Kalinkos (Clarinet); Ryan Simmons (Bassoon); Benjamin Jaber (French Horn); Julie Smith (Harp); Anna Skalova (Violin); Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin (Viola); Erin Breene (Cello); Susan Wulff (Double Bass)
RECORDING Live recording streaming right above, or on Soundcloud [LISTEN]
SCORE AVAILABILITY Score available for perusal, parts available for sale or rent [contact for more info]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please solve * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.