To Keep the Dark Away

Instrumentation: Piano
Duration: 11:00
Commission: Ellen Waldo for Gayle Martin Henry
Premiere: 4/17/11
Gayle Martin Henry, piano
Tenri Cultural Institute, New York, NY

Program Note: 
To Keep the Dark Away was commissioned by Ms. Ellen Waldo for pianist Gayle Martin Henry, to whom it is dedicated. I previously composed both my piano concerto, The Passion of St. Cecilia, and its companion solo adaptation, Fantasy on St. Cecilia for Ms. Henry.

To Keep the Dark Away is a set of five brief movements, whose piece and movement titles are drawn from five poems by Emily Dickinson, a favorite of the composer, pianist and commissioner. It was written during a dark period prior to surgery, and the process of composing indeed helped ‘to keep the dark away.’ The poems include the following:

1. #850 To Keep the Dark Away
2. #326 A Glee Possesseth Me
3. #686 An Actual Suffering Strengthens
4. #1577 The Auroral Light
5. #500 Whose Spokes a Dizzy Music Makes


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