MELIA WATRAS: BERCEUSE WITH A SINGER IN LONDON
for voice and viola (2015)
 
 Photo by Michelle Smith-Lewis

Photo by Michelle Smith-Lewis

 

World Premiere: Galia Arad, recorded voice; Melia Watras, viola; January 26, 2016, Seattle, WA

Duration: 2:49

Program Notes:
The “Singer in London” in the title is the fantastic folk singer Galia Arad, to whom this piece is dedicated. I’ve always been taken with Galia’s beautiful voice and innate music making. Galia and I share a number of connections, including spending formative years in Bloomington, Indiana, where Galia grew up, and where I moved for college, studying viola with Galia’s father, the distinguished violist and composer Atar Arad.

Berceuse took shape while I was practicing the exquisite fourth movement lullaby of Schumann’s Märchenbilder. My intent was to write a piece in a folk song style, with Galia very much in my mind as I composed. This piece became the starting point for my Folk Style Project. The text for Berceuse with a Singer in London was written by violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim, my frequent instrumental collaborator, who this time shared with me his words:

Take me where you go.
With shared footsteps,
We will walk, light with stars.

When time stops,
And now becomes then,
We will walk, light with stars.

We float,
Blind, like brightly lit secrets, Better killed than kept.

© 2015 by Michael Jinsoo Lim

—Melia Watras