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Poet Sarah Getty inspired me with her blunt observations of people and their behaviors. She wrote about people she loved, as well as herself, with unsentimental but profound insight.
The suite Partners sets three of Sarah’s poems:
- Troupers – The overwhelming spectacle of a three-ring circus is a prelude to a circus dog’s reflections on being a performer with a long-term connection to its performing partner.
- Cleaning the Storm Windows – A clumsy comedy occurs when husband and wife try to wash storm windows.
- That Woman – A subtle exploration of the subconscious connection of a daughter to her mother.
The three pieces of Partners were commissioned by David Getty and The Master Singers of Lexington, MA in memory of poet Sarah Getty, who was a longtime member of the chorus.
About That Woman
The poem “That Woman” spoke to me on many levels — seeing a bird, missing my own mother, realizing how much we carry our parents onward in our own life. Sarah reveals slowly that this companion walking with you is your mother, invisibly part of your subconscious, who formed your attitudes and whose example taught you how to raise your own child. My musical setting has frequent moments of canons where one group of singers echoes another, as the connections of daughter to mother resonate back through the generations.
You can read the poem in the downloadable Preview score.
That Woman was premiered in November 2022 by the Master Singers of Lexington, MA.
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