air,

  (2014)

Synopsis

A setting of the eponymous poem by E. E. Cummings.

No. 59 in the 100 Poems project.

airis characterized by slow legato passages from both the soprano and trumpet throughout the piece. While the soprano is given her part in strict notation, the trumpet’s part is indeterminate. The trumpet is given three groups of numbers (the first containing 4 numbers; the second, 12; and the third, 11), the numbers corresponding to pitches in a tone row. The trumpeter, spontaneously during or prior to the performance, selects which pitch will be his zero, and then plays the pitches which correspond to the numbers shown. Each section may have a unique zero-pitch or they may all be the same. Rhythms are not provided, but rather, a total number of beats per section, which can be divided any number of ways spontaneously by the performer. Finally, the trumpeter is told that dynamics are free, but he must not at any time overpower the soprano. The trumpeter plays with a bubble mute without the stem for the duration the piece.