commissioned and performed here by Dan Shomper
Vox Animarum, Latin for voice of souls, was inspired by the time I’ve spent with my infant son Lev. Before Lev was born, I had no idea that a baby’s cry was such a timbrally rich phenomenon. While I don’t mean to say that I enjoyed listening to my son cry, I was completely captivated by the range of sounds that emanated from him as he explored his voice in his first several months of life. When cellist Dan Shomper approached me about writing him a new solo work, I decided to channel this fascination into a deeper exploration of the cello’s timbral possibilities. Vox Animarum makes use of certain techniques that utilize the full range of the cello’s pitch-to-noise spectrum. The title comes from the first few lines of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 69 (though not tied to the meaning of that particular Sonnet):
Those parts of thee that the world’s eye doth view
Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend;
All tongues, the voice of souls, give thee that due,
Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.