Rain Has Fallen (2017)
Baritone and piano
Premiered as part of the New Voices Opera Exhibition performance at the Jacobs School of Music, November 27, 2017.
Rain has fallen all the day.
O, come among the laden leaves:
The leaves lie thick upon the way
Straying a little by the way
Of memories do we depart.
Come, my beloved, where I may
Speak to your heart.
-James Joyce (1882 - 1941)
*This text is in the public domain.
In James Joyce’s “Rain Has Fallen,” we explore the sensitive remains of a former relationship as two ex-lovers walk down a familiar path after a heavy rain. There are, of course, many ways to interpret this poem, but to me the text speaks to the pain of a lost love and the desperate yet hopeless desire to revisit better days. I sought in this piece to explore the uncomfortable tension as one of the lovers pleads with the other to rekindle the love they once shared. But we can recognize that these pleads are sadly hopeless, that the pain of those lost days lingers heavily between them like the raindrops weighing down the leaves. To give a sense of this awkwardness, I attempted to create a balance of personal expression for the performers and strict rhythmic precision, so that there is a sense of an oppressed freedom throughout the piece. This reflects the emotions of the narrator, how he wishes to be free to express himself to his former lover, but deep down he understands that their fate is sealed and that their love will only ever be memories.