The Schumann of Postclassicism

Since his memorial service I’ve been desperately longing to hear William Duckworth’s Simple Songs about Sex and War, but I couldn’t find my old tape of it. (There’s a commercial CD, but the performance is weird and too disappointing to listen to.) Finally I ran across an mp3 on a hard drive – he and Nora must have given it to me last time I visited – and for all those similarly susceptible I post it here. Based on poems written for Bill by Hayden Carruth, it is the perfect postclassical song cycle, sung by the incomparable Barbara Noska (a Relache member when it was written) in a consummate postclassical vocal style, and with lovely synth accompaniment by John Dulik. Anybody who could write this deserved far more acclaim than the Pulitzer hacks.


  1. Joseph Franklin says


    Thanks for posting this. I just listened to the recording and it brought back many memories. I was at this recording session after Relache performed the piece a number of times in Philly and on tour. It sounds great. And I agree completely with you regarding the Pulitzer awards.


    KG replies: Nice to hear from you, Joe. Thanks for making so much great music happen.

  2. Kyle says

    Kyle, are you at all familiar with his Meditation Preludes for Marimba (or Vibes) and Almglocken from about 1977? A stunningly beautiful piece that was never published, but has been recorded by Joe Gramley on his CD American De-Construction. If you don’t know it, should DEFINITELY check it out, it’s very similar to some of the TC Preludes.

    KG replies: You know, I thought I must have heard it, but can’t find the CD to confirm, so I just ordered it. Can’t believe there’s a Duckworth disc I don’t have. Thanks.