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a song cycle for three voices and ensemble

Year:  2022   ·  Duration:  35m
Instrumentation:  Coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, tenor, flute (dbl. piccolo, alto flute, bass flute), harp, piano, percussion

Year:  2022
Duration:  35m
Instrumentation  Coloratura soprano, lyric s...

Alex Taylor

Composer:   Alex Taylor

Films, Audio & Samples

Alex Taylor: Dryad — AUDIO

Embedded audio
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Sample Score

Sample: first page of each song

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H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) is a hugely important literary and cultural figure whose influence is only now beginning to be appreciated, not only as a poet but also as a queer and feminist icon. Dryad combines poems written by, to and about H.D. and her lovers and literary collaborators Ezra Pound, Frances Gregg and Bryher. The cycle imagines a coded poetic dialogue between these literary figures, whose personal and professional lives intersected dramatically in the early decades of the twentieth century. Drawing on Classical Greek literary forms and mythological figures (among which, Narcissus and Echo, Artemis, Orpheus, Pygmalion, Dryads, Maenads), these texts call to one another in supplication, desire, possession, contempt, jealousy, struggle and resilience.

Dryad was a name with which other poets referred to H.D. – especially as it appears in the very late Ezra Pound Cantos:

Dryad, your eyes are like the clouds over Taishan
When some of the rain has fallen
And half remains yet to fall

Dryad, thy peace is like water

Dedication note

for Susan Narucki, Kyle Adam Blair, and the UCSD Graduate Vocal Studio: Stefanie Quintin, Mariana Flores, and Miguel Zazueta

Contents note

I. Oread
II. Moonrise
III. To H.D.
IV. Ortus (Birth)
V. Flute Song
VI. Garden
VII. Wild Rose
VIII. April
IX. We Two

Text note

Text by H.D, Ezra Pound, Bryher, and Frances Gregg