Quinn's song cycle, titled 12 Haiku, will be premiered by the University of Louisville Symphony Orchestra and Mezzo-Soprano, Emily Howes. Join Quinn and his family and friends at this world premiere!
12 Haiku is a multi movement song cycle for mezzo-soprano, solo violin and violoncello, and chamber orchestra. Each of the twelve movements is representative of the atmosphere and character of a single haiku, and over the course of the work a dramatic narrative is created by the sequence of texts. In contrast to a typical song cycle, the mezzo-soprano sings nearly the entire work on nonsense syllables, and the words of the haiku are delivered at precise moments via a multimedia projection that accompanies each movement.
The narrative created over the course of the work follows the mezzo-soprano through the journey of her life. The orchestra creates the world in which she lives, and the solo violin and violoncello represent her connection to this world.
Movements I and XII, a prelude and postlude respectively, encompass the core of the work. The remaining movements are split up into three sections, each of which is a new chapter of the dramatic narrative. Movements II through IV depict birth and the joys of life. Movements V through VIII acknowledge the death and pain that accompanies life. Finally, movements IX through XI deal with coming to terms with ones own impending death.
I. Silent – The stage is set as the mezzo-soprano curiously observes the willful and peaceful departure of a life.
II. Returning – She witnesses the birth of a new life that fills the void.
III. Dawn – Her focus broadens, and she sees the beauty of the whole world for the first time.
IV. Ballet – She finds love and happiness in the company of another.
V. Hungry – Death is introduced, and her joy and wonderment is replaced by sorrow.
VI. Bell – She is only briefly able to return to a state of serenity before the departure of another life weighs her down.
VII. Memory – Rage turns to deep sorrow as she laments the death of someone close to her.
VIII. Alone – She tries to reignite a sense of wonder from her youth, only to realize that there is no one to share in her joy.
IX. Dark – Life has left its scars, and she begins to realize that nothing can wash them away.
X. Grave – She feels small and insignificant when she sees her own thread starting to unravel.
XI. Monument – She comes to peace with her departure from life and a great sense of relief washes over her.
XII. Butterflies – Her voice is heard for the first time, but only so that she may tell us why she does not speak.