Laurie Baynard, flute
Kayley Alden, viola
Elizabeth Bennett, harp
While one sleeps, the people, places, emotions, and moods that one dreams of come and go in a very fluid manner. Often times, the dreamers cannot organize or tie together these constantly shifting ideas while they dream, and much less afterwards when they wake. This is the state of most of the dream world, one of mystery and constant change. In this state the dreamer has nothing to hold on to and a feeling of uncertainty, if nothing else, predominates. Maybe once or twice in a dream we are able to subconsciously string together a few ideas when our brains automatically put them together in some sensible way. Most people can remember a scene or specific moment in their dreams that sticks out to them, if not for the aforementioned reason, then perhaps just because of its sheer beauty or strangeness.
"Slumbers Kiss Your Golden Eyes" takes the listeners into this world of sleep and dreams. The opening harp solo sets the mood for the rest of the piece with its almost music-box-like quality, right on the edge of being a lullaby. From there, the flute, viola, and harp all interact with and respond to one another but come across as individual voices for the most part, similar to how ideas come and go yet do not combine in dreams. There is a large middle section where the sleep is stable and soothing, and the instruments and ideas align for moments of dazzling allure. This coherent and charming scene soon fades and the listener finds themselves back in a vague territory where familiar motives and lines are recurring, but they are being presented in new ways. Finally, after several allusions to a lullaby, the piece closes with a rhythmic, well- aligned, but still peculiar lullaby-like theme.
This work draws its title and broad general ideas from a near-eponymous poem of Thomas Dekker, titled "Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes".
"Slumbers Kiss Your Golden Eyes" also placed as a Semi-Finalist in 2013 American Prize in Composition, in the student chamber music division.
Recording from the premier at the Dancz Center for New Music in Athens, GA, USA on March 7th, 2012.