Mood Swings (2016)

Performance:  Kairos: A Consort of Singers; Edward Lundergan, Artistic Director

Notes:  I call this piece Mood Swings because of the extreme changes among the three pieces.

Sonnet 130, My Mistress’ Eyes, is light and jesting, which is also true of my musical setting.

Sonnet 147, My Love is as a Fever, could not be more different – the poet is so emotionally bound to the object of his devotion that he perceives the desire itself as a fatal illness. I depict this manic fever in a dark and feverish arrangement.

I often end my multiple-movement pieces with an upbeat, jazzy number; Sonnet 29, When in Disgrace, puts the “swing” in Mood Swings.

Sonnet 130, My Mistress' Eyes

MyMistressEyes.mp3  2:42


My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
As any she belied with false compare.


Sonnet 147, My Love is as a Fever

MyLoveIsAsAFever.mp3  4:22

My love is as a fever longing still,
For that which longer nurseth the disease;
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now Reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed;
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

Sonnet 29, When in Disgrace

WhenInDisgrace.mp3  3:30


When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.


Back to Compositions Page