Chrysalis (for soprano and two violas)

2006

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LIVE recording March 26, 2006, by Abigail Haynes, soprano; Anna Pelczer, viola; and Margaret Carey, viola, Yale University, New Haven, CT.

Program Note:

Chrysalis sets the eponymous poem by the young poet, Ivanna Yi, whom I met in an art-songwriting course at Yale. Ivanna’s deceptively simple, lyrical poetry was a revelation to me.

The poem I have not written
comes to me in my sleep,
a woman dressed in white.

I have been waiting for you,
I tell her. After all this time,
why are you still unwritten?

Without shame she slips out of her dress.
I tried to become a poem, she says,
until I became human.

September 8, 2019

Chicago Classical Review

“Violinist Yuan-Qing Yu and cellist Kenneth Olsen traced gauzy lines around [Nicholas] Phan’s plaintive, austere vocalism in “Chrysalis,” in which the speaker—in a dream—encounters an unwritten poem in the form of a woman. The results were mesmerizing.”

Landon Hegedus