Few people know that E. E. Cummings was an accomplished painter in addition to being one of the most celebrated poets of the twentieth century.
His poems are full of fragmented statements, harsh juxtapositions, grammatical distortions, and startling images.
The five songs in this cycle are chosen from the publication No Thanks. The selected poems all contain narrative elements as well as a visual style that is extremely interesting and musically inspiring. I wanted to be faithful to the text in two ways: first by representing the emotional quality and contextual ambiguity found in the text with musical material consisting of pitched and non-pitched sound, and second by shaping the musical form and development in accordance to the unusual grammar, presentation, and formatting found on the page. Every quirky period, vowel, and punctuation has a meaning and formal role in the musical creation of the piece. The visual presentation of the poems has acted like guidelines in my formal thinking.