Time Stops (0:12) (Julie Ann Ball)
Mary & Jimmy
Litany (Explicit Lyrics) (Yvonne Strumecki)
Litany for the Sexually Lost (4:55)
Things You Never Say (8:31)
Street Sex (15:03)
Emily & Jimmy
The Singer Laments Their Breath (17:30) (Yvonne Strumecki)
Mary & Jimmy
Just a Phase (23:45) (Elizabeth Rudolph)
arr. Jimmy Morehead
Jennifer and Jimmy
This poem was written by my aunt in the week after my grandmother died. It deals specifically with the feeling of hollowness when someone you care about leaves this life. Suddenly the mundane things you used to do with that person take on this preciousness and meaning that one may or may not have noticed before. In this time of pandemic, with so many people dying, I wanted to write a song dedicated to those of us who have lost loved ones. It's especially difficult in this time because we're so isolated, which means a lot of people are dying (not necessarily of COVID) without the opportunity to say goodbye. I did try to keep the musical language of this piece as accessible as possible in order to allow it to speak to a wider range of people.
Litany Set: (Language Warning?)
This set of pieces deals with some taboo topics: female sexuality, female pleasure, societal norms and what happens when we break them, gender roles, relationship problems, etc. Litany For the Sexually Lost has a repetitive piano part that reflects the heart and breath of the lovers as they entangle while the vocal line rides over that with commentary. Things You Never Say is a very complicated poem and a very complicated piece. The 5/4 meter and the syncopation is intended to create a sonic world of discomfort and breathlessness. The lyrics are harsh and difficult to hear and to sing. The vocal line is awkward and disconcerting. Street Sex seems like a simple poem of a public interaction of strangers, but there's more to it than that. It is a woman owning her body. It is an interaction of equals, consenting adults. The running bass line is the pulse of the city around them, continuous and unrelenting...
The Singer Laments Their Breath
This piece for voice and drone is presented here with only one voice, but is also possible with a group of voices all singing in their own time. This poem took on fresh, raw meaning when the COVID-19 virus arrived. The performance industry has been hit extremely hard by this pandemic and the...random assortment of responses by governments around the world to control it. All of us musicians are waiting in the wings for the moment when we can finally take that stage again. Until that day, the chord won't change. We're stuck in our living rooms and empty halls, making art with little collaboration and no feedback from our audience. It's a piece of mourning and also of hope that our industry will survive this.
Just a Phase
This song was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of Stonewall by Jimmy Morehead and the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. It is autobiographical and I hope it conveys some of the things I've felt and experienced when it comes to my sexuality over the decades since I came out. It is in standard pop/rock song form, with verses and a chorus and a bridge.