The sobbing of the bells (2011)

piano (offstage)
4 min.
Published by Fennica Gerhman

The sobbing of the bells was written as a kind of addendum to my hour-long piano prelude cycle Leaves of Grass, after the poetry of Walt Whitman. I had considered the accompanying poem and the music I had in mind for inclusion in the cycle, but eventually left it aside, in part due to lack of time, but more because it simply didn’t fit in the larger dramatic scheme. However, reading the poem again in early 2011 after a trip to New York, a city I had left behind ten years earlier, I decided that I needed to set it as a brief memorial to another September tragedy. With the first complete recording of Leaves of Grass by its dedicatee, pianist Risto-Matti Marin, coming later that spring, we decided to include this “prelude-fragment” as a hidden track at the end of the album, recorded at a great distance and the sharp edges of its opening muted, to be stumbled upon by listeners as they would.