The Answer (2016)
Text by Robert Creeley
Total duration ca. 6'30"
Single movement work
Premiered in June 2015
in Baltimore, MD
by Joshua Glassman and the Mt. Vernon Consort
Listen to an excerpt of this work on Soundcloud
Audio clip performed by The Princeton Singers as part of the 2016 Lehigh University-ACDA Summer Choral Composers Forum under the direction of Steven Sametz
Purchase this score from
Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $1.00 per copy
Creeley's The Answer is a lament. The poem presents in the form of a question a longing for an openness, clarity, and gentleness, a world of communication as soft as the wind bending the grass. Whether the "we" of the poem is two people or a larger "we," the question's answer abruptly replaces the image of wind-bent grass with walls against which we break ourselves "just to hear it." It is a mourning of the distance we put between each other, seemingly with a perverse intentionality. The text setting builds up from a tentative and naive opening to a wall of sound against which the musical gestures break and crumbling into the poem's sad conclusion.
The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975, by Robert Creeley, © 2006 by the Regents of the University of California. Published by the University of California Press