about the performance:
The Lunar Ensemble
Recorded Live: Shriver Hall
Baltimore MD (December 2012)

about the piece:
moments colorés was commissioned by The Lunar Ensemble as part of a centennial celebration of Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Written for a Pierrot ensemble instrumentation, this work is a setting of four poems from Albert Giraud's cycle Pierrot lunaire: Rondels bergamasques based on the commedia dell'arte figure of Pierrot.

Each poem in this set draws on connotations from, imagery of, and associations with colors. The first song features black and green, and the last song, white. Whereas the black is the total absence of light, while white is its full spectrum. White is also the color traditionally associated with the character of Pierrot. The color white ties each poem together in color and character; thus each song was written around a short motif representing white.

1. The first song, Absinthe, draws on the dark colors of green and black, describing drunken images soaked in absinthe. The start of the piece describes “an immense sea of absinthe” and other drunken images elicited by the proverbial green fairy. Soon, benign images devolve into darker hallucinations; the music grows frenetic and the singer frantically recounts her boat being seized and pulled into the sea. The music returns to calms as she “disappears without complaint.”


(by Albert Giraud)

Dans une immense mer d’absinthe,
Je découvre des pays soûls,
Aux ciels capricieux et fous
Comme un désir de femme enceinte.

La capiteuse vague tinte
Des rythmes verdàtres et doux:
Dans une immense mer d’absinthe,
Je découvre des pays soûls.

Mais soudain ma barque est étreinte
Par des poulpes visqueux et mous:
Au milieu d’un gluant remous
Je disparais, sans une plainte,
Dans une immense mer d’absinthe.


Amidst an immense sea of absinthe,
I discover drunken lands,
With skies, capricious and mad,
As a desire of women expecting.

The waves, intoxicating and tinted
The rhythms, green and soft:
Amidst an immense sea of absinthe,
I discover drunken lands.

But suddenly my boat is seized
By octopuses, viscous and limp:
In the midst of sticky swirls,
I disappear without a complaint.
Amidst an immense sea of absinthe.