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Orange Clouds

Canto del pregonero
Three Poems by Rafael Alberti

for soprano and percussion (2020)

Duration: 6 minutes

Libretto: Spanish

Poems by Rafael Alberti

1. Si mi voz muriera

2. La paloma

3. Pregón

Program Note:
This set of art songs was written during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home orders came in from around the world and around the country. With the cancellation of concerts and performances, there was a surge of artists performing on social media and focusing on web-content as an outlet for creativity. I was disappointed with the cancellation of numerous performances and was looking for my own musical outlets when I stumbled on a request for "tiny works" for unaccompanied soprano from Stephanie Lamprea. I reached out and proposed some poems by Rafael Alberti but self-accompanied on percussion found around the house. Stephanie loved the idea, and Canto del pregonero evolved slowly through April and May 2020.

Unaccompanied: Tiny Works for Quarantine, Volume 3

Stephanie Lamprea, soprano & percussion

June 13, 2020

English Translations:

1. If my voice dies

If my voice dies on land

Carry it down to the sea

And leave it there on the shore.


Carry it down to the sea

And name it captain

Of a white man-of-war.


Oh my voice, decorated

With signs of a sailor:


Over my heart an anchor

And over the anchor a star

And over the star the wind

And over the wind a sail!


2. The Dove

The dove was wrong.

She was mistaken.


To travel north, she flew south,

Thinking the wheat was water.

She was mistaken.


Thinking the sea was sky;

That the night, the morrow.

She was mistaken.


That the stars, dew;

That the heat, snowfall.

She was mistaken.


That your skirt was your blouse;

That your heart, your home.

She was mistaken.


(She fell asleep on the shore,

You, at the tip of a branch.)

3. The Cry

I sell clouds of color,

Ellipses, reddened

To temper the heat!


I sell purple cirrus,

And pink, the dawns,

The golden sunsets!


The yellow star

Caught in the green branches

Of the celestial peach tree!


I sell the snow, the flame,

And the song of the crier!


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