if by yes

a nine-movement song cycle for tenor and harpsichord (1994), 19’

if by yes is the result of a year of reading through the remarkable poetry of E. E. Cummings. The guiding principle throughout the entire compositional process was the metrical flow of the poetry and the meaning of the words, which are the source of all the musical structures built around them. Although hailed today as an avatar of the avant-garde, Cummings was often lyrical and romantic and many of his best poems adhere to conventional poetics, although he always managed to have something new to say within any framework. Three of the nine poems explored herein (the first, middle and last: 1, 5 & 9), in fact, are sonnets.