Love Song (2007)

Love Song (2007)

for mezzo soprano, flute, clarinet, french horn, percussion, piano,violin, and violoncello

performed by the University of Texas New Music Ensemble

Love Song is a poem I first saw in a World Literature text book my sophomore year in high school. Since that time, it stayed in the back of my mind as a text I would like to set to music. In this piece, I wanted to explore the character of each individual section of the poem, while having unifying thematic material (the opening phrase in the clarinet). Much of this is accomplished by exploring the great variety of orchestrational colors available in this ensemble.

text from the poem “Love Song” by Flavien Ranaivo

Love Song


Do not love me, my friend,

Like your shadow­ –

Shadows fade in the evening

And I will hold you

Until the cock crows.


Do not love me like pepper –

It makes my belly hot.

I cannot eat pepper

When I am hungry.


Do not love me like a pillow –

One would meet in sleep

And not see each other

During the day.


Love me like a dream –

For dreams are your life

In the night

And my hope in the day.


“Love Song:’ by FIavien Ranaivo. translated by Miriam Koshland, from Poems  From Black Africa. edited by Langston Hughes. Copyright @ 1963 by Langston Hughes.

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