Program Notes

Time, like money or borders between one country and another, is one of those funny human-made concepts that dictate our lives but are fundamentally meaningless if we didn’t all agree to go along with it. And yet, we experience aging, the changing of seasons, and growth, undeniably. The line between time’s reality and its invention is blurry, and there was no better way I could think of to depict that than by writing a repeating lyric that erodes as the piece unfolds. As lyrics disappear, phrases take on new meaning, like the way a 30th birthday differs from a fifth birthday, or how old memories can appear sharper than yesterday’s. We lose time when we try to keep it, we spend time as we try to save it – and since it insists upon eluding us, we can only notice the fact that time has been winking at us all along. This wit, this relentlessness, and this freedom is the spirit behind Time, and this piece is my way of winking back.


SATB a cappella, TTBB a cappella



4 minutes



Commissioned by Opus Vocal Ensemble for the 2021 -2022 Louisiana ACDA Conference


Winner of the 2022 Cantus Composition Prize

Text by Jennifer Lucy Cook


You can spend it
When you spend it
Then you’re running out of
You can save it
But to save it is to take a little
In a minute
When you’re in it
Can you feel the passing
Is an illusion
There’s confusion
When they tell you now it’s

To get older
To work and
Time to waste and there’s no
Left to hold her
To tell him how you feel
While there’s still
Three two one, eleven thirty
Two AM, then dinner
Now to kill
I said I will
And still
It flies and flies, oh