performed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Chorale, dir. Bruce Gladstone:
composer's note: Some poetry takes time to process and understand by reading slowly, and taking time for contemplation. I love so much of that poetry... But Emily Dickinson's "There Came a Wind Like a Bugle" feels like it grabs me by the shirt collar, pulls me into a tornado, and spits me out at the end. There's such raw power in this text that I felt like I had to translate that into a musical whirlwind, flying ahead at breakneck speed. So the piece is built on a 15-beat-long phrase that swirls through all 12 tones of the chromatic scale, circling back on itself over & over, while textures and words and piano phrases and percussive effects swirl all around it. Until, finally, at the end of the poem, the choir takes a moment to catch its breath & belts out a big climactic phrase before the piano continues the storm, crashing right into the final double barline.