The Dream of the Lost Traveller

The Dream of the Lost Traveller is part of a series of compositions of various lengths and orchestrations called Opere della Musica Povera (Works of a Poor Music). Several titles I considered for the 'Opere' were taken from William Blake's book of emblematic texts and engravings For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise. After some reflection I decided that the book itself would better in a complete visual and musical setting. I put that idea aside for the future, saving only a transformation of a fragment of the final poem for my title:

To the Accuser Who is the God of This World

Truly My Satan thou art but a Dunce
And dost not know the Garment from the Man
Every Harlot was a Virgin once
Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan

Tho thou art Worshipd by the Names Divine
Of Jesus & Jehovah: thou art still
The Son of Morn in weary Nights decline
The lost Travellers Dream under the Hill

The Dream of the Lost Traveller is, for me, the gate and the gateway to a larger, less formally stringent project. In this composition the musical materials retain the austere simplicity of the Povera works, but they now unfold as variations in a more indirect, expansive way.

The Dream of the Lost Traveller was commissioned by Sequitur, and is dedicated to Lisa Moore. The world premiere was performed by Lisa Moore on December 8, 1997 at Merkin Hall in New York City.