The Sound of a Voice
Music by Philip Glass
Text by David Henry Hwang
Mezzo-soprano, Baritone, Flute, Pipa, Cello, Percussion/Sound of a Voice: (1 player) Triangle, Castanets, 2, Tom-toms, Tambourine, Small and Medium Tamtam, Maracas, Bell Clusters, Wood Block, Finger Cymbals, Wind Chimes, Dumbeck, Anvil, Tar, Suspended Cymbal, Metal Scraper; Percussion/Hotel of Dreams: (1 player) Wood Block, Suspended Cymbal, Tar, Triangle Castanets, Tambourine, Tamtam (small), Wind Chimes, Maracas, Shaker, Metal Scraper, Finger Cymbals, Dumbeck, Glockenspiel
May 24 – June 28, 2003
The Sound of a Voice explores how intimacy is achieved between people who have lived in seclusion. In the first part, an aging Japanese warrior arrives at the home of a mysterious woman who lives like a hermit deep in the woods. Has he come as her suitor, or her assassin? Does she intend to love him, or to imprison him forever, like the flowers she cultivates so assiduously? The battles of love become a deadly contest in this tale, blurring the distinctions between hero and coward, between victor and vanquished. In the second part, an elderly Japanese writer visits a mysterious brothel, which caters to men near the end of their lives by providing them with a means to relive their youth. The writer’s initial contempt for the house gives way first to acceptance, then to regular visits. Ultimately, he finds his dreams and fantasies exposed before the brothel’s elderly Madame, and embarks with her on an ethereal journey beyond sex and love.
Philip Glass applies Asian and western instrumentation to stories by David Henry Hwang, in which the dreams and fantasies of a Japanese writer and an aging warrior are laid bare.
Dunvagen Music Publishers