for soprano and piano

Duration: ca. 4’


Superbloom (2019) is the result of a song genesis project at Indiana University in which texts written by student poets were set as art songs and performed by Jacobs School of Music students under the supervision of Professor Julia Bentley. I was thrilled to be paired with poet Soleil Davíd; in her poetry I found a sense of quiet introspection that I thought was well-suited to the music I write. I was also lucky to be paired with soprano Shannon Barry, who proved eager to take on every challenge my piece would present.

“Seeing the Superbloom in Death Valley, California,” the poem Soleil wrote for me to set, draws a parallel between a super bloom (a rare event in which heavy rainfall and perfect weather conditions fill the desert with wildflowers) in Death Valley and the blooming of a new romance between two people. The sound of Soleil’s voice reading her poem was my starting point for the soprano line, which begins introvertedly and is gradually overtaken with emotion. The piano accompaniment of the song as a whole mimics the natural process that results in a super bloom. The piece begins with sparse and atmospheric accompaniment representing the arid desert valley. In the middle section, rain begins to fall, beginning gently and building in intensity. The accompaniment of the final section of the piece represents the first flowers beginning to bloom from the otherwise empty desert, a fragile and intimate moment that is reflected in the experience of the two people in the poem.