Dream Vegetables by Stephen Michael Gryc
for soprano, clarinet, violin, and piano
Bay Area premiere

1. Exposure
2. Falling
3. Nightmare
4. Insomnia
5. Recurring
6. Flying

At the request of the poet Maggie Anderson, the poems will be only spoken and not printed.

I met Maggie Anderson while we were both fellows at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire during the summer of 1988. I was instantly drawn to her work and told her of my interest in setting her poems about the dreams of vegetables as they grow in the garden. The poems are certainly whimsical and clever, but they are also beautifully crafted, full of evocative imagery and ripe for musical use. I felt that the clearest way to project the text of these poems was to have the vocalist speak rather than sing the words. The rhythmic setting of the text is exact to ensure complete coordination between the voice and the three instruments. I am very enthusiastic about the instrumental combination of clarinet, violin, and marimba. Even though each instrument produces sound in a different way, providing variety, they all are constructed predominantly of wood and are capable of blending together their rich sounds, especially in their darker, lower registers. The piece was begun in the spring of 1996 at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming.

— S. M. G.    

[from program for September 26, 2005 concert]