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.
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.