Descants for a Daughter was inspired by my friend, poet, and subsequent lyricist of these works, Annette Hope Billings. I started tinkering with these short pieces during summer of 2017. Soon after, I presented the ideas to one of my composition mentors, Jake Narverud. He encouraged me to continue to play with it and refine the ideas.
The way that I envision Descants for a Daughter, follows parts of how Annette’s collection of poetry under the same name was set up. The collection of 50 short poems are entitled under different ideas such as “Wisdom,” “Affirmation,” etc. In this fashion, I composed three songs to be grouped under Volume I.—Wisdom. The compositions can be performed all together by volume, separately, or in small groups with other “descants” from more volumes (which are to be composed in the coming months).
Annette’s poignant smatterings of advice speak not only to daughters, but to sons, mothers, fathers, etc. However, because they are written specifically with a daughter in mind, it seemed fitting to me to compose the short poems with short choral works for a women’s ensemble.
You can find Annette’s website here.