Orchestral | Chamber | Vocal | Solo

Fantasies and Chromatic Dreams for tenor and four instrumentalists (2002)
Gilbert Galindo, music; Ulises Solano, text

I. Blanche reverie
II. Grenouille
III. Profond noir
IV. Rouge reverie et exaltation

Program Notes

The four movements in this piece are set to a collection of poems about certain experiences associated with a color. In Blanche reverie the color is white and about certain things that "speak out" in the desert night. The "speaking out" is heard in the first part of the movement while the more surreal and tranquil qualities of a nigth time desert are portrayed in the second half. Grenouille is about a child's curiosity of a growl sound at a pond. The music reflects the growl sound by way of the English horn as the character reflects the child's naivety and curiosity. The third movement, Profond noir encompasses many moods and feelings associated with the writer's experience of witnessing a solar eclipse as the music portrays the change of character and mood. The poem Rouge reverie et exaltation makes many beautiful connections with the color red. In this movement, a prominent cello line is heard as the music is more reserved but with a bit of fervid slowed intensity.

*2002 Winner of the William T. Faricy Award for Creative Music


Blanche reverie

Desert under a full moon
and cries of sibilant creatures afar
biting the cold
air and stars

"Wait for the white"
said the Shaman,
"Buffalo god's teeth and horns
and white skull
printed in stars"

"Wait for the white..."
"the white inside your veins,
and the white inside the clouds,
the white among the reds,
and the white among the browns"

White the sheets and feathers
the brow of the spider woman
and the hairs of elders
of ash and bone
of moon-like silver
and the Buffalo god
white as snow

Profond noir

The iris flamed with black.
A thousand snakes on the ground,
the phantom furs of dogs, their howls, their whines,
and rooster's chants
under confused skies of comets and stars.

I then kneel,
sobbing, pondering,
muted by awe.
I, the littlest one,
cried at the diamonds and the pearls,
at the intense diffusion of darkness over light
surrounding the iris
of the greatest eye.

The inquisitive pitch black of that eye
so far above,
absorbed and devoured
the whole of me,
feeding me its terrifying splendour.

The eye of God shone,
beaded in pearls and jewels and fires afar,
like dragons and nightmares and omens and spells,
and fears of sunless days
and starless nights.

The pitch black eye began to fade.
Snakes anew twitched and curled
animals prayed their beastly prayers,
stars and comets in sidereal chants
answered the royal sky in spacious blue.

And you, the beguiling dark eye,
lost your shine
when the sun went up.
Its pearls and jewels
dispersed in the sky.
No howls and whines,
the eclipse undone.


So, I thought...
"Who are you"?

The growls,
deep, green, nasty growls.
Green, like the snapping turtle!

"Wait," I thought...
"It cannot be the snapping turtle,
for I never ever heard them growl, yet."

I looked, and looked
and all was green
the grass, the weeds, the trees,
even the growls too...

Ew, Uugh...!
The docks are wet
with a growl smell...
I am only ten,
and my little white shorts are stained
with this green, grass, growl, smell.
Wait a minute:
"A Growl is a sound!
Who cares? Oh well..."

So I asked again:
Who the heck are you?
And the deep, green, grass, water, wet,
steamy, cloudy, slippery, sweaty
thing said...
"Tis me...!
A growly-green-lake frog

Rouge reverie et exaltation

Voices of Whitman soldiers, confederate rifles,
Our blood in most flags,
The Sun, a volcano inside me.
Indian faces and horses and canyon ridges,
Chinese sunsets and dragons,
and students on the square
African desert dawns,
Napoleon, Italy, Germany and France,
Churchill and Roosevelt.
The trumpets, eyes and capes
of bullfight afternoons and wine.
Crucifixes, El Greco, Goya, Dalí and Spain.

The heat of your lips made it clear
that love was not transferable,
but an eternal commodity,
unyielding to early
abrupt submissions.

The Sun, the eternal furnace,
has spoken about the warmest love of God;
Speaking, while kissing and changing
the blue and wet horizons into fire
and leaving glittery stars
bathing on the shore.

Blessed be thou,
who inspired all passions
all hates, and all loves.
Spinning the Earth Eastward
and made mankind follow a path
of carnations and roses.
All peoples unified
by the same color of blood.
Brevard, North Carolina,
Summer, 2001


Premiere of first movement:

May 29, 2002, Free Pie V, MAB 109,
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Abby Venman, voice
Kalissa Hendrickson, piccolo
Claire Salz, English horn
Tramaine Wilkes, violin
Nicholas Phontinos, cello
Gilbert Galindo, conductor

Full Premiere:

Februrary 10, 2003, New Music Northwestern,
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Ulises Solano, tenor
David Farris, piccolo, alto flute
Andrew Nogal, English horn
Joel Gibbs, violin
Susan Yun, cello
Don Owens, conductor

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