work details

Nikki's Love Songs

  • Instrumentation: soprano and piano
  • Completed: December 2020
  • Duration: 22 minutes
  • Texts: Original poems by Nikki Giovanni
  • Commission and Dedication:

    For Katherine Jolly
    Commissioned by the Oberlin Conservatory of Music

  • Songs:

    1. And I Have You
    2. That Day
    3. I Wrote a Good Omelet
    4. You Are There
    5. Love in Place
    6. You Were Gone
    7. You Came, Too
    8. Three/Quarters Time

  • Composer's Note:

    I am so grateful to Katherine Jolly for many things: the gift of the songs she breathes to life with her voice… the gift of heart that she brings to her students… the gift of warmth she shares with her cats… and especially the gift of wonder that she shared with me when she introduced me to the poetry of Nikki Giovanni. These poems are alive, and they needed no music, as they were already full of vitality, volume, and verve. I’ve tried my best to keep Nikki’s text front and center and my music always supportive, so the wit and whimsy of these words are the takeaway.

    Nikki’s Love Songs were commissioned by the Oberlin Conservatory of Music for Katherine Jolly, and they are dedicated fondly to her, a small offering from me for the great gifts of her friendship and her artistry.

    December 2020

  • Performances:
    • To be determined, 2022