Behind the Seen is my second song cycle (after In the End, 2004, for soprano and piano) written in 2010 for baritone Mel Braun and pianist Laura Loewen, both on faculty at the University of Manitoba. That duo premiered the cycle in January, 2013. For this set of songs I returned again to the texts of Canadian George Whipple, whose poetry grapples with the enduring issues of the human condition in profound and deeply compelling ways. The cycle is largely about the vast beauty, surprise, and mystery that lies within and behind the very limited perception we have of reality, the love that holds us together, and the assurance that sustains us. The cycle also exists in a version for counter-tenor, transcribed in 2014 for Canadian counter-tenor Andrew Pickett.
The cycle was awarded the Boston Contempo Festival 2013 Director’s Choice Award.