Moon Songs (2011)

Music by Nick Norton, words by various poets

When composer Nick Norton accepted the WomenSing Youth Inspiring Youth commission, he decided to use not one but five River of Words poems, and set them as a short suite which became Moon Songs. A short, simple, single-lined opening movement serves as an introduction to a more complex, rhythmically energetic and declamatory second one. Noah Jordan’s poem Reflection, the third movement, is set a cappella, with two natural mirroring minor scales. Minimalistic textures prevail in the fourth movement, with its steady pulse and harmony, and reiteration followed by slow transformation of diverse musical cells, all combined in an extroverted way. In sharp contrast, the last and fifth movement is very introspective, and the use of the spoken word is particularly effective. WomenSing is honored and thrilled to be presenting the world premiere performances of this suite.

Nick NortonNick Norton, 24, was born in Santa Monica, took up guitar and saxophone at an early age, and spent his formative years playing in various punk bands in Ventura County, before pursuing composition, guitar performance, and political theory at UC San Diego, where he graduated with honors. Following UCSD, Norton studied composition and counterpoint at L’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, and then studied in London, earning an M.Mus from King’s College. Currently living in Los Angeles, Norton spends most of his time composing and playing guitar. He recently received the ASCAPlus award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. His choral piece, “Elevation Morceau,” recently received its world premiere by the Kansas City Chorale. Check out Nick’s blog for a first person account of the composition process.

V. My World

I stand on the moon
Looking at the big, round, blue earth
And I’m going to eat it
Very, very slowly.

Alexa Beaver, age 10
Fruita, Colordo
Caprock Academy (Grand Junction)
Teacher: Susan Sharpe
2009 Finalist

Alexa BeaverAlexa Beaver wrote her poem My World, when she was ten years old. Now twelve, Alexa likes reading, basketball, biking and hanging out with her family!

Luis CastilloLuis Castillo wrote the award-winning poem, Untitled, in 2005 at the age of ten while attending the Watsonville School of the Arts in California. He is still engaged in writing poetry and also likes to draw. He participates in environmental activities like beach clean-ups. According to Luis, “I am constantly finding art everywhere. I believe we need to create the art that will change the world someday.”

Noah JordanNoah Jordan won his first River of Words poetry award at the age of six, and has since garnered several awards for his work in national and international poetry competitions. His poem Reflection was written at nine. At age eleven he now divides his time seasonally between writing and sports and is an award-winning swimmer, third for his age group in the State of Maine. A former student of the viola da gamba, Noah particularly loves Renaissance and early Baroque music.