Le Sommeil Interrompu (2010)

for chamber ensemble

Duration: 7'

Fl, Cl, Vn, Vc, Pno, Perc.

Scores and parts available from the composer

Le Sommeil Interrompu was written as part of The Bilitis Project at Southwestern University in 2010.  The work, for mixed sextet, is designed as a companion piece to Debussy’s various settings of Pierre Louys’ Sappho-inspired poetry of 1894.  The poem, “Le Sommeil Interrompu” (‘interrupted sleep’), describes the rape of Louys’ central character and the emotional toll it took on her.  Building from a Debussy-like sound palette and the poem’s disturbing dramatic arch, my instrumental work simply explores the stark contrast between quiet serenity and sudden, unexpected violence.  The work closes with Bilitis’ prayer to Kypris (Athena), as echoes of her trauma ring in her mind.