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made of words … torn by dreamsafter Wallace Stevens | Steven Sérpa

made of words … torn by dreams
after Wallace Stevens

for alto saxophone and piano with optional drum set (2015)



Duration: 6.5 min.

April 4th, 2017
Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin
Sarah Hetrick, alto saxophone and Andrew Q. Langman, piano

Program Note:
made of words … torn by dreams was inspired by lines from the poem “Men Made Out of Words” by American poet Wallace Stevens. These lines, along with the unexpected suicide of a pianist-friend, sparked a consideration of the words we use to define ourselves and use to label others. How do we fulfill the roles these words describe? Do we disappoint? This pushed me to consider who I am and who I thought I would be— my plans and dreams. As an artist, as a human being, am I living up to the words I am made up of? Are words and roles forced on me, and if so, am I succumbing or overcoming? As my life progresses and my dreams come to fruition or fail to materialize, what does that do to my definition of self? The music for this piece moves between sections of quiet thoughtfulness and sections of forward propulsion, contrasting dark and bright modes, all in response to these questions and the answers we all struggle to find.


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after Wallace Stevens”

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