Page 1

Purgatory Branch (Winter) for mezzo-soprano and flute

Thomas J. Dempster (BMI)

Copyright Š 2015 Thomas J Dempster :: All Rights Reserved


Please report all performances of this work to BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated). Visit the composer’s website at www.thomasdempster.com


Purgatory Branch (Winter) for mezzo-soprano and flute

Thomas J. Dempster

West Columbia, SC January – February 2015

Copyright Š 2015 Thomas J Dempster


Purgatory Branch (Winter) (2015) – Duration: ca. 4 minutes Text (by Thomas Dempster): Frost on towy blades glistens as the Earth yawns And takes its leave once touched by the sun; A single breeze drifts through my fingers, glancing the trees, Shivering in pallid and blank morning light. Cold comes knocking, tapping, On the bones of stubborn cattle and solitary crows perched on tufts of hay The creek keeps moving, tender whispers between the fields disappearing into the shadows of the pines

Program Notes Purgatory Branch is the name of a small creek in northwestern Lee County, NC, not far from where I spent my adolescence. The name is evocative of the space one finds oneself in among rural places, held between the wild and the desolately human. Close to where I grew up, a creek flowed between two large tobacco fields before disappearing into pine forests, reemerging among fields now fallow and overgrown with scrub oak, tall grasses, and pine saplings. The real Purgatory Branch area once held a small, run-down church, a small cluster of mobile homes, farms, and woods; twenty-five years later, it has been subjugated by a highway bypass and suburban sprawl – strip malls, chock-a-block subdivisions, and noise. My poem, the lyrics for this song, is meant to be an impressionistic memorial of a December morning gazing across fields covered in frost under the milky, pale sunrise, light at once familiar and unsettling. This piece was originally composed for mezzo-soprano and bassoon. It was adapted for voice and flute in May, 2015.

Performance Notes The song should be sung somewhat freely, the performers acting in consort as though a light, cold breeze. The singer, at the end of the song, should allow for certain marked syllables (those marked with X noteheads) to become unvoiced whispers or hisses (if the s is extended, marked by “sss”). For the flutist, in measures 30 and 31, in case the performer is unfamiliar with the notation: the repeated G pitch class should be reattacked quickly as a lip pizzicato, with attacks slowing down. For this gesture (paired with “knocking”) the exact number of “knocks” isn’t as important as it is to convey the gesture. Likewise, the gesture should play out before the singer continues (particularly in m. 31). Please note the harmonic in measure 18.


Purgatory Branch (Winter) Thomas J. Dempster Text: Thomas J. Dempster Distant; flexible q = c 72

4 &4

Mezzo-Soprano

& 44

Flute

5

Mezzo

5

Fl.

4 &4

œœ

Z

P

5

3 4

j j #œ œ œ.

- œ #œ œ œ & ‰ œ# œ œ glis

-

-

-

tens

F

& œ

And

14

Fl.

&

b œ- .

œ œ œ œ œ. takes

‰ Œ

œ œ œ. 3

œ J ‰ Œ 

P

14

Mezzo

as the Earth

10

Fl.

4 4

œ .. # œ , œ # œj œ œ œ # œ œ .. œ# ˙ œ. œ œ œ N œ . œ . œœ J 4 R J 46 R 43 4

œ- b œ œ œœ bœ œ œ œ J ‰ 43 Œ & 44 Œ

& œ.

3 4

5

cantabile

10

Mezzo

œœ

œ

6 4

its

˙ .

F

˙ 45

Œ

on tow - y

yawns

œ. 45

j œ 43 ‰ œ œ œ  3 p F

œ œ œbœ œ œ F

3

œ

œ œ

4 . 4 ˙

 ˙ œ . œj 44

U U 3

once touched by

the

Œ

 44 Œ # œ œ œ P

Copyright © 2015 Thomas J Dempster

 œ œ‰ J J œ œ. œ P ˙

sun

44 Œ

Œ

blades

p 5  œ œ 4 œ

3 4 ˙

œ.

leave

5

œ œ

Frost

j œ ˙

P legato; lontano j 5 4 #˙ œ ‰ ‰ œj

œ F

œœ

# œ# œ œ œ œ

43 Œ

43


2

3 œ &4 J

17

Mezzo

5 p œ 5 4 ‰ # œJ œ œ œ œ œ

Purgatory Branch (Winter)

n.

Œ

Œ

o #œ. œ ˙ 17 #œ œ œ œ 3 5 &4 œœœ 4 - # 5  cold; senza vib. harm.

A sin

5

Fl.

4 & 4 #œ œ. œ #œ

Mezzo

fin

-

# œ- œ # œ

gers,

˙ 4 &4

20

Fl.

j & œ œ ‰ Œ

Mezzo

46

23

œ 6 & Œ # œ œ œ œ œ œ Jœ ‰ 4 3 3 p F f 26 3 U U & #œ #˙ Œ œ œ œ 23

Fl.

Mezzo

blank

26

Fl.

&

29

Mezzo

&

œ J ‰ Œ

œ N œ # œ- #Uœ- œ- œ Œ &Œ 3 P 3

29

Fl.

˙

morn - ing

light

gle breeze

, # œ-

# œ- œ œdrifts

œ , œ # œ œ # œ œ- œ

through

# œ œ # œ-

œ

œ 44 J

my

4 4

sotto voce

P

5 4

œ #œ #œ œ œ.

π 3 4

˙

20

˙

-

œ. œ

#œ #œ

œ #œ

œ aœ

œ

# œ . œ œ # œ œ œœ Œ #œ 43 45 5 F3 piangendo 3 F P S S P F 3 3 j Œ œ #œ œ Œ œ œ œ œ ‰ œ ˙ #˙ #œ Shiv' - ring, shiv' in pal - lid and   - ring , Ÿ Ÿ # œ ~~ œ- œ œ œ œ- œ ~~~ œ œ œ˙. œ >œj ˙ J ‰  frozen  f  44

glan

-

cing

Brighter, a little faster

‰ 

œ.

π 11 œ . 8

j #œ

luminous

A tempo, come prima

Cold

118 

œ J

comes

trees,

œ œ œ # œ 44 œ œ Œ œ F

the

œ J ‰

j # œ œ# œ œ œ # œ œ- œ- œ œ œ #œ

œ

F

3

3

3

3

œ œœ

œ

3

Œ

5 4

Œ

45

knock - ing

Lip Pizz.

f

œ. œ. œ. œ. œ. œ. œ. œ.


5 &4

31

Mezzo

œ œ

U

œ

œ

knock

-

4 &4 œ -

4 &4 œœ

33

œ

ping

#œ œ œ œ œ œ

& 44 # œ . 4 &4

36

Mezzo

-

f ˙

39

&

Mezzo

on

tufts

. .. & ‰ œJ Œ # œ œ ‰  & 43

Fl.

-

ping

tap

-

œœ

f #˙.

œ

œ

On

the

œ ˙ J

-

-

3

4 4

Œ

ping

œœ

f

45

œ œ #œ œ

œœ

œœ

of

sol - i

of

‰ 43 œ œ œ œ œ œ > >

hay

˙ 46 Œ P ∑

-

ƒ ˙ 45

y

5 4

45

œ œ œ

crows

>œ œ œ >œ œ œ

tar -

stub

-

f

œœ -

œœœœ 5 œœœœ 8

‰ # œj 43 œ. . œ. . œ. . n œ. . and

j 4 5 8 œ œ œ œ œ 4

œ

bones

œœœœœœ

tle

39

43

-

P tranquil œ # œ # œ 46 N ˙ œ Œ

perched

Fl.

-

>œ œ œ œ > œ œ >œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

cat

Fl.

#œ.

œœ œ

3

œ œ J

36

Mezzo

tap

tap

Fl.

ing

Purgatory Branch (Winter)

U œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœœœ œœ 4 ‰ œœœœœœœœ‰ œœœœ ‰ 4 ........ F staccato f

& 45

33

Mezzo

,P œ.

Lip Pizz.

31

Fl.

colla parte

-

born

œœ

‰ 44

œ~~~ # œ ˙ œœœ

œ œ ‰ œ. œ. ‰ œ. œ. Œ

44

43

œ # œ œ >œ œ œœ 3 > #œ œ œ # œ- œ- œ œŒ 44 œ Œ 45 œ4 3 3 f 3 ƒ desperate for warmth f 43

>œ . # œ 43 œ œ œ œ œ- œ- . œ- ˙ U JŒ 5 3 œ & 43 4 J 4 5 P

44

43

46

j >œ . œ œ œ . œ œœ œœ œ œ œ 6 J ‰ 44 œ œ J 43 œ œ 4 œ œ 3

P


6 &4 bœ œ. œ œ

& 46

48

Fl.

F 6 ˙ &4

Mezzo

mov

-

-

-

-

-

œœœ œ œ 6 œœ Œ &4 œ

51

Fl.

U

6 &4 œ

slight

Mezzo

U œ

whis

& 46

53

Fl.

-

Œ

pers

œœœ

& 45 # ˙

œœ

P 

56

Mezzo

œœœ

Œ

p

dis

Mezzo

& 

(sss)

60

Fl.

&

# œ- œ-

3 π lontano

œ- œ- œ œ ˙ - -

-

Œ

-

-

P

4 4

-

pitchless;

π

œ

the

j œ ‰ Œ n.

˙ pines

‰ 46 6 4

œ.

-

-

der

 œœ 6 #œ œ 4 5 4

j j œ œ #œ. -

pear -

45

‰  #˙

in - to the shad - ows

# œ œ œ œJ œ . œ

keeps

p 3 46 œ œ œ ˙

ap - pear - ing

6 4

œ

œ œ œ #œ

dis - ap

whispered j œ #œ 

of

3

44 ‰ ‰ b œ p

œ

œ . œ œ ‰ 43 œ œ ‰ œ œ # œ œ œ 44 œ 3 3 π p

44 œJ ‰ Œ

5

3 4 ˙

fields

œŒ

44 œ.

Œ

# œ- œ- œ œ œJ œ . 5 Œ œ &4 pitchless; whispered

the

meno voce

56

60

ten

 œ œ #œ œ œ œ œ œŒ

be - tween

U

œœœœœ 44 œ œ œŒ

ing,

3

œ

œ

œ œ.

the creek

œ ˙

F 4 4 #˙

œ

œ #œ ˙

3

ing

Fl.

œ

F

F

53

bœ P

œ ˙

œ bœ ˙

51

˙

The creek

œ œ. œ œ Œ Œ p

P

P ‰ œj ˙

Œ

48

Mezzo

PU 4 ‰ N œj 4 ˙

Purgatory Branch (Winter)

4

#˙ 

œ 46 J ‰ Œ pitchless; whispered

 U

(sss)

U

ca. 4:00 West Columbia, SC Feb. 18, 2015

Purgatory Branch (Winter)  

for mezzo-soprano and flute (or bassoon)