Sunken City (1992/2009)
Recorded by Maureen Hurd (cl) and Blair McMillen (pno). Premiered by same at the Bar Harbor Chamber Music Festival in Bar Harbor, Maine on July 15, 2011.
Sunken City shares with Spelunk a sense of exploring the unknown with trepidation, exhilaration and a touch of fear. It was originally a setting of the poem "Diving Into the Wreck" by Adrienne Rich, that I was permitted by the poet to make in 1992 (and was ultimately performed one time in this form at the University of Michigan in February, 1993). Over time, as I came to know both the poem and music better, I felt that the poem was not well-served by the setting, but I always knew I did not want to discard the music. I eventually fashioned it into a new work for clarinet and piano for Maureen to premiere on her CD in 2009. Having grown up near the southeast coastline, sea imagery has always been important to me. I'm sure it was more this aspect of Rich's poem, and not the feminist metaphors, that drew me in at the time I composed the music. Therefore, I think it is more appropriate as an abstract musical work, and the image of the Sunken City evokes the setting, and even a bit of the rot, in Rich's iconic poem.
Sheet music available via Subito Music Corp.
Copyright © Edward B. Marks Music Company. BMI