Songs of the Mouse People

Volume One

Book I

1. Common Squeaking (Made apparent by its delicacy)

2. That Peace We Yearn For

3. Every Disturbance Is An Opportunity

4. A Thousand Pairs Of Shoulders Tremble (Under a burden actually meant for one)

5. Laughter Stops (When we see Josephine)

Songs of the Mouse People is based on a Franz Kafka's last short work "Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse People." In that remarkable valedictory story Kafka meditates on a mouse diva, Josephine, and her relationship to both her art and her audience.

In my composition I have translated sentences from the original that suggested (to me, at least) titles in the mouse people's multi-volume treasury of songs. There remain two books of five songs each in the first volume, and two further books of songs in volume two.

Songs of the Mouse People was commissioned by Maya Beiser and Steven Schick with the assistance of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.