Set for three female voices and chamber ensemble, The Lost Thought is the second in a collection of five poems by Emily Dickinson intended for a multi-disciplinary evening. This complete cycle is being created in collaboration with animators/visual artists, a choreographer and librettist. Anna Clyne writes: “There are moments in the music where room is left for the other elements to be explored, and this balance will likely be further exaggerated as the work develops to completion.

“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. This particular instrumentation was selected to create an intimate unveiling of, and window into, Emily’s world.

“On the surface, the opening movements are marked by simplicity and a sense of playfulness through lilting melodic cells and buoyant rhythms, but with a sinister undertone always lurking and never too far away. At moments, the music fractures to reveal more chaotic passages or outbursts – guided by the text – both the image and the articulation and sound of the words.

“Since writing her poem, The Lost Thought, Dickinson later revised it – capitalizing key words, adding her signature dashes, which would often indicate missing words or gasps, and even changing words – most notably replacing ‘reach’ with ‘Sound’. These revisions dramatically alter the poem – both in meaning, and also in terms of how the poem appears visually on the page and how it is heard in recitation. Dickinson went on to write another, much more dramatically different, version of this poem 10 years later, at the request of her sister. It is the first two versions that are explored in this setting.”

Anna Clyne

Duration: 12 minutes

Instrumentation: Three female voices and ensemble
Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and VisionIntoArt
Premiered by Trio Mediaeval, Martha Cluver, and Novus NY on 23 November 2013 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn, New York
Copyright/Publisher Information: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc

About the composer:

London-born Anna Clyne is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music, combining resonant soundscapes with propelling textures that weave, morph, and collide in dramatic explosions. Her work, described as “dazzlingly inventive” by Time Out New York, often includes collaborations with cutting edge artists. Along with Mason Bates, she was appointed one of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mead Composers-in-Residence by Music Director Riccardo Muti, and took up the post in the 2010/11 season for a term of two years.

Maestro Muti extended Clyne’s and Bates’s terms through the 2014/15 season, allowing them to continue their work on the MusicNOW contemporary music series and other projects with various partners throughout Chicago in support of the CSOA’s ongoing commitment to collaborating with today’s leading artists and arts institutions. An avid advocate for music education, Clyne teaches composition workshops for local young composers and incarcerated youth as part of the CSO’s Citizen Musician Initiative, and served as the director of the New York Youth Symphony’s award-winning program for young composers “Making Score” from 2008 to 2010. Clyne was also recently a guest composer at the 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.

Clyne’s Night Ferry was commissioned by the CSO and received its premiere by the Orchestra in February 2012 under the baton of Music Director Riccardo Muti. It was also taken on tour to California. Her double concerto Prince of Clouds, a CSO co-commission, received its Chicago premiere in December 2012. Clyne has had two pieces commissioned by the CSO’s MusicNOW series: Spangled Unicorn (premiered in 2011) and As Sudden Shut (premiered in 2013). A third, Postponeless Creature, will have its world premiere in 2015. In August 2013, Clyne’s Masquerade had its world premiere on the famed Last Night of the Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. Other premieres in 2013 include Clyne’s The Violin, a multimedia collaboration with artist Josh Dorman and violinists Cornelius Dufallo and Amy Kauffman, and The Lost Thought, performed by Trio Mediæval with conductor Julian Wachner. Her other commissions include works for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Houston Ballet, London Sinfonietta, Southbank Centre, ETHEL, Bang on a Can, Metropolis Ensemble, American Composers Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Clyne’s work has been championed by some of the world’s finest conductors, including Marin Alsop, Pablo Heras-Casado, George Manahan, Jeffrey Milarsky, Riccardo Muti, Leonard Slatkin, Alan Pierson, Andre de Ridder, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Osmo Vänskä, as well as by Alex Ross of The New Yorker, who curated performances of her work with the Seattle Chamber Players and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

As a passionate collaborator, Clyne has worked with many of today’s most inventive and pioneering artists, including choreographers Nicolo Fonte/Houston Ballet (USA), Kitty McNamee/Hysterica Dance Company (USA), Matthew Neenan/BalletX (USA), Pascal Rekoert/Flexicurve (Holland); musician Björk (Iceland); painter, Y.J.Cho (Taiwan); artist, Josh Dorman (USA); sound artists Jody Elff (USA), Jeremy Flower (USA); filmmaker Michael Bates (Australia), visual artists Joshua Bryan (UK/Japan), Luke Dubois (USA), Jon Niborg Speier, (USA), Rokhshad Nourdeh (France), Joshue Ott/Superdraw (USA) and writers Tom Bolt (USA) and Scott Jacobson of The Daily Show (USA).

Her work has been performed in such diverse venues as the Barbican Centre, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, the University of Edinburgh, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and in New York’s (Le) Poisson Rouge, Museum of Modern Art, Galapagos Art Space, and Carnegie Hall. Clyne’s work has also been featured on the d.u.m.b.o. Dance Festival, New York Musical Theatre Festival, River to River Festival, Beijing Modern Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Soundings Electronic Music Festival.

Clyne is the recipient of several prestigious awards. These include a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, eight consecutive ASCAP Plus Awards which merited her recent catalogs of work for their “unique prestige value”, a Clutterbuck Award from the University of Edinburgh, awards from Meet the Composer, The American Music Center, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Jerome Foundation, International Artist Sponsorship, and a 2006 Commission Prize from ASCAP and SEAMUS “in recognition of outstanding achievement and demonstrated ability.” She was also a finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Composer Award, and was nominated for a 2010 British Composer Award.

Her first recording, Blue Moth, was released in February 2012 by Tzadik Records. It showcased a diverse range of her instrumental and ensemble-with-tape compositions, including Roulette, fits + starts and Steelworks.

Born in London and raised in the U.K., Clyne began her musical studies on a piano with randomly missing keys. At the age of 11, she wrote and performed her first fully notated piece for flute and piano. Clyne holds a Bachelor of Music with honors degree from Edinburgh University and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where she received an academic-based scholarship. Her principal teachers include Julia Wolfe, Marina Adamia and Marjan Mozetich. She is a member of the American Music Center, American Composers Forum, Electronic Music Foundation and the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Her music is published by Boosey & Hawkes. Anna Clyne lives in Chicago.

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