Elizabeth Vercoe composer
BUTTERFLY EFFECTS AND OTHER WORKS contains four pieces of music, each with its own personality. Vercoe composed Butterfly Effects using evocative melodies reminiscent of a butterfly in flight. The mood of each of the seven movements, set by the interplay of harp and flute (piccolo, bass, alto, or concert flute), is at times somber and reflective, and at other times bluesy and brilliant. Vercoe experiments with various techniques, sometimes with soaring melodies and trills in the flute, and at other times with more primal, percussive sounds such as beat boxing and key slaps.
This is my letter to the World is composed of six songs inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Written for mezzo-soprano, flute, and piano, Vercoe builds on Dickinson’s words with music that enhances the mood of the poetry. For example, in “Snow,” a rain stick spills slowly, recreating the sound of the falling snow. and in “A Spider sewed at Night,” the soft piano and use of finger cymbals evoke the quiet yet complex and introspective tone of Dickinson’s famous writing style.
The third piece, Elegy, is a short, dramatic piece for viola and piano that is alternately forceful and quietly introspective. The music becomes increasingly tonal as the viola eloquently asserts its voice in a short cadenza and pairs with the piano to express various reactions to loss, moving from anger to sorrow, and at last, to resignation.
Finally, the fourth work, Herstory I, sets to music the poetry of women writers — this time with piano, soprano, and vibraphone. Here Vercoe draws on the texts of four contemporary female poets: Anne Sexton, Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath, and Pam White. Recorded for broadcast at the WGBH-FM studios in Allston MA, the work is enriched by the energy of the live performance. Unifying the album with this final piece, Vercoe shows the true breadth and depth of her abilities as a composer.