2017 • Soprano & Orchestra • 18'
2222 • 43211 • timpani + 3 percussion • optional harp • soprano • strings
Baby Book is a six-movement cycle on miscarriage, pregnancy, and motherhood, with poetry by Chloe Yelena Miller.
Reading of Movement 4, "Great Aunt Dora," with soprano Natasha Lynn Foley, and the University of Louisville Symphony Orchestra, directed by Kimcherie Lloyd.
The orchestrated version of Baby Book is unpremiered! Please contact me if you're interested in programming it.
Baby Book was always intended to be two versions. I composed both simultaneously.
I wrote three movements during my graduate studies and later completed the cycle.
An orchestrated version of these constituted my Master's Thesis.
I created the piano / vocal version to be performed more easily and frequently.
And it has!
Why are there two versions of Baby Book?
Both settings have much in common, but each has unique offerings that take advantage of the ensemble. The orchestrated version has more interludes within songs to feature the ensemble and uses textures that aren't possible on the piano. Similarly, the piano / vocal version takes advantage of the unique opportunities on that instrument to create a sensitive and colorful work.
How are they different?
The piano / vocal version of the cycle has received a number of performances and awards.
I could never have created Baby Book without my wonderful poet, Chloe Yelena Miller.
Chloe has not yet heard these songs performed live, but one day, we will find a way!
I dream of inviting Chloe to read her poems for a concert audience, for them to enjoy and speak with her, and for Chloe to experience the magic of hearing her words in live performance.
These are her incredibly personal experiences. Her words, and my music, have sparked many important conversations that need to be had around miscarriage, pregnancy, and motherhood. I cannot tell you how many women have shared with me how this music has given them catharsis and healing. They feel seen. And the people who love these women find greater empathy in the universal feelings of love, loss, and grief, and better words and sentiment to support them.
The journey of these songs has been so remarkable and has already connected and moved so many women. I hope they will continue to do so.