For string quartet, soprano, mezzo-soprano and alto. Premiered by the Princeton Composers Ensemble at Taplin Auditorium, Princeton University.

Fragments & Rumors is a series of eight short settings of fragments of Sappho’s poems, translated by Willis Barnstone. I was struck by the spare, funny and very human qualities of the texts. The settings are purposefully simple so as not to overwhelm the poems.

See score as PDF (right or control-click to download)

1. To Atthis: I loved you, Atthis, long ago when you were like a small child with no charm.

2: Shall I?: I don’t know what to do. I say yes — and then no.

3. Having Refused To Accept The Bitter With The Sweet: I don’t want honey or the honey bee.

4. To Eros: You burn me.

5. Heart: Don’t try to bend a crazed heart.

6. Return: I have flown to you like a child to her mother.

7. Sleep: The black sheep of night closes my eyes.

8. No Oblivion: Someone, I tell you, will remember us.