composer’s note: I’ve always had a fascination with vocal melodies that have a wide range, using legato line to bridge the gap between extreme highs and lows. There’s something so powerful and deeply human about hearing a voice make those kinds of tunes into beautiful music. When the incredible dramatic soprano Claudia Waite commissioned me to write her a song cycle, I knew and admired her agile voice and her willingness to take on seemingly difficult vocal lines, making them sound easy. So the melodies in “My Songs Do Not Belong To Me” shoot up to the heights, dip down into the depths, and do everything in between, all in the service of dramatically illuminating Sara Teasdale’s wonderful poetry. Those wide-ranging melodies bring out the wild theatrics of Teasdale’s poems, turning each little art song into a tiny operatic aria, bursting with energy.