MY EYES ARE FULL OF SHADOW
“Puckett’s motet is a real find.”Gramophone
Band (grade 3)
Commissioned by the SEC Band Directors Association.
“My eyes are full of shadow, and my part Of life is yesterday.”
I’ve always been a person prone to melancholy. My mother used to say that I had periods of sadness interrupted by periods where I was happy about being sad.
As an adult, I’ve learned to be contented in these low periods and in those moments I seek out the healing power of music and poetry. Edith Nesbit’s “Age to Youth,” from which this work’s title is taken, describes looking back on a moment of pain in the past and an inability—an unwillingness?—to move beyond it. Finding this poem brought me great joy in connecting to its sadness.
My Eyes Are Full of Shadow opens with an optimism of a new day but as the cadences are consistently left largely unfulfilled, we realize something is amiss. Each attempted restart of the opening results in another aborted cadence and now they are frequently interrupted by a simple, sad chaconne. Reflecting the poem’s insistence on living in the past, this interrupting chaconne grows more insistent and eventually gives way to a return to the opening but now colored by the assertions of the chaconne.
My Eyes are Full of Shadow was commissioned by the SEC Band Directors Association for its members.
Alto saxophone 1
Alto saxophone 2
Trumpets in B 1-3
French Horns in F 1-2
Percussion: [3 or 4 players]
Vibraphone 2 [not shared] [OPTIONAL]
Large Suspended Cymbal