Alaskan Songs (1989-92) for voice, clarinet and piano

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Alaskan Songs (1989-92) for voice, clarinet and piano was premiered by American Women Composers and has been since performed many times including Poland by many different singers. (18 Min.)

This set of songs by Alaskan poets was commissioned by mezzo-soprano Suzanne Summerville, Professor of Music at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Having grown up in northern Canada, I have tried to portray the great land of Alaska in Still Life (Sheila Nickerson) and Where Mountains Have No Names (Peggy Shumaker). In these two songs I evoke the north country, the sounds of snow falling (silence), swirling, melting; the icy stillness, the magical aurora borealis, and the deep blue and blue-violet of the clean, crisp air; the crunch of the snow underfoot; the crashing sounds of glaciers breaking apart; the sounds of the melting snow in the run-off season. The two songs The Ladies Who Talked All the Time and The Woman Who Would Be Perfect by Alaskan poet Frank Buske portray the humorous and the darker side of the feminine personality.