by Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)
It sounded as if the streets were running, And then the streets stood still.
Eclipse was all we could see at the window, And awe was all we could feel.
By and by the boldest stole out of his covert, To see if time was there.
Nature was in her beryl apron,
Mixing fresher air.
Down Time’s quaint stream
Without an oar,
We are enforced to sail,
Our Port – a secret –
Our Perchance – a gale.
What Skipper would
Incur the risk,
What Buccaneer would ride,
Without a surety from the wind
Or schedule of the tide?
An Hour is a Sea
Between a few, and me –
With them would Harbor be –
Fly – fly – but as you fly –
Remember – the second pass you by –The second is pursuing the Century
The Century is chasing Eternity –
What a Responsibility –
No wonder that the little Second flee –Out of it’s frightened way –
There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea
A solitude of death, but these
Society shall be,
Compared with that profounder site
That polar privacy
A Soul admitted to Itself:
Âpre Bryone is a piece that compares five poems by Emily Dickinson within a narrative and contemplative framework. These two ways of experiencing musical time are extrapolated in the physiological movement of breathing (inhalation/exhalation) that gives rhythm to the formal life of the work.
The material refers to certain oral polyphonies of 13th-century Western Europe. Its apparent simplicity – two fundamentals and an ornamented melody – is conducive to a work of variation (notably through the quasi-thematic use of ornamentation) and thus constitutes another formal line of force.
Dickinsonian dazzle is echoed in light, imagined and punctual electroacoustic gestures, which may fragment the discourse or attempt to appropriate it.
The space thus created is fragile, refined and evanescent.