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Timpani may be played by percussionist

This work requires additional technological components and/or amplification.

Abbreviations (PDF)

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Harris Theater, Chicago, IL
Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Benjamin Shwartz
Composer's Notes

A door just opened on a street—
I, lost, was passing by—
An instant's width of warmth disclosed
And wealth, and company.

The door as sudden shut, and I,
I, lost, was passing by,—
Lost doubly, but by contrast most,
Enlightening misery.
— Emily Dickinson

Set for three female voices and chamber ensemble, As Sudden Shut is the first in a collection of poems by Emily Dickinson. This opening movement is marked by simplicity. Later movements, which set related poems by Dickinson, become fractured, more complex and wild, incorporating pre-recorded electro-acoustic layers within the chamber ensemble, as the depths of her psyche are unveiled.

Through the settings of these poems, Dickinson is portrayed alone in her room; a confined space wherein magical worlds are imagined, remembered and incarnated. They breathe into the space, and bleed through the walls and windows to the sky.

— Anna Clyne

Reproduction Rights:
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.

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