Song cycle for lyric soprano, piano and computer-generated sounds; 1983 ; Duration ca. 13:30
    Rain Falling (ca. 3:08)
    December Night (ca. 2:01) From "A Love Letter" (ca. 3:41)
    Am I Old? (ca. 2:46)
    Fire Inside of Me (ca. 2:33)

This song cycle deals with a woman's growing self-awareness and inner strength, and with her realization that she has come to like the person that she is. The texts for four of the songs, translated and adapted by Virginia Olsen Baron, are taken from fifteenth and sixteenth century Korean sijo poems, a genre similar in some respects to Japanese haiku poetry. These "simple" (though at times ironic, cryptic or multi-layered) and eloquent poems are pervaded by nature imagery, which in this cycle also serves to mirror the woman's personal thoughts and feelings. Anna Wickham's A Love Letter reflects a similar quality of being "beyond time," in the sense that one can feel simultaneously young and old, alone but fulfilled.

The soprano melodies are technically demanding, incorporating wide melodic leaps and an extended pitch compass, but at the same time often requiring an "effortless" lyricism. The piano part and the computer generated and processed sounds comprise a double, or mirror-like, accompaniment. Prominent melodic, harmonic and rhythmic ideas from the vocal and piano parts are frequently developed in more abstract fashion within the computer textures.

JPG score excerpt
Shown here is the opening score page for this work.

MP3 audio excerpt
This clip contains the compete second (and shortest) song of the cycle, December Night, performed by soprano Joan Sapiro Beale and pianist Brian Pezzone.
Duration : 120 seconds; size 3.7 MB ; encoding 256 kBit

Spring Winds, Autumn Gusts was premiered during the 1983 International Computer Music Conference by soprano Joan Sapiro Beale and pianist Brian Pezzone, and was performed on about eight other venues during the next few years by Joan and Brian and by several other singers and pianists.

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