In setting Keats' famous poem, I had a few goals. First, I wanted the mood of the piece to match the text without getting too dark. The instrumentation is light and mostly sits higher than the vocal line, which gives the impression of a person sitting alone and listening to natural sounds. The piece is through-composed and the tonality is vague, with a few recurring motives, which follows the train of thought of the poem. My second goal was to evoke the nightingale itself without using real recordings. The instruments I have chosen can make a few of the nightingale's sounds, but no one instrument can mimic its song entirely. The nightingale sounds pass between the players and sometimes disappear entirely as the person is lost in thought. The result is a piece that is wandering and not overly dramatic, while still being expressive.


Approx. 13 min.

Ode to a Nightingale