By Luna Pearl Woolf | For Soprano and String Quartet | 15′
Title: I am a Fish
Composer: Luna Pearl Woolf
Text by: Jama Jandrokovic
Year Composed: 2005
Instrumentation: For Soprano and String Quartet
Format: Performance Set: Full Score + 4 Parts
Page Size: Letter
Catalog Number: OM0118
From the composer:
With a nod to that one called Wanda, I am a Fish is a light-hearted, backward glance at a period of sexual liberation in a young woman’s life. Commissioned by soprano Jama Jandrokovic for her Five Lovers Project in 2005, the work sets three of the texts from Five Lovers: “Lovely in his bones,” “Why I Slept with a 21-year-old boy from South Africa,” and “July, 95 degrees.” These are heard in their entirety, though buffeted and remarked upon by excerpts from the same poems, placed out of context.
Heard almost from under water, the opening of I am a Fish drips with insinuation – the text of “Lovely in his Bones” is accompanied in lush, rich tones, intoxicated by physical infatuation. Anger and discord inject themselves with “Why I Slept with a 21-year-old boy from South Africa,” turning to delight and fantasy as the memory of the encounter blossoms. A waltz ensues, followed by a dip into pious irreverence, before the ensemble comes together in furious unison to underscore the closing line of the poem. Here, an interlude for string quartet makes the transition to a more mature remove. In “July, 95 degrees,” awash in subtly shifting timbral and registral colors, our hero finds within herself the satisfaction to resist a watery sexual entanglement. Looking back, she can’t help but laugh, and in an epilogue to the narrative she awakens to herself at the sun’s touch, dismissing the whole episode with a wink and a sigh.
Commission/Dedication: To Jama Jandrokovic.
Premiere: First performed May 13, 2008 at Alice Tully Hall in New York, NY by Jama Jandrokovic and The Blue Sky Ensemble.
Recording: Listen to excerpts of I am a Fish performed by Jama Jandrokovic and the North Sky Ensemble: