Ashes and Eyes - (2002)
for mezzo soprano and organ
for Andrea Bönig, mezzo soprano, and Anton Gill, author and poet
round their eyes.
Staring frightened through the windows
Skinny kids, barefoot on concrete floors,
and the rough hands of mothers, fathers....
This text is under copyright and therefore not fully reproduced herein.
Copyright © 2002 by Anton Gill
Used by permission
All international rights reserved
[ 6 pages in organ score, circa 7' 35" ]
Mezzo soprano Andrea Bönig, in Berlin as a guest at the Staatsoper Unter den
Linden at the time, suggested two newly written poems to me, to be set for
her with organ accompaniment. With the poet's permission, I edited the two
into one text for this setting.
Anton Gill's theme was Rumanian orphans in specific who were being housed in
substandard conditions, and by obvious extension the orphaned children of
all war and violent political upheaval. For this interpretive reason, I
melded the two original texts into one with Anton's permission whose final
message, after images of the forlorn, in one of redemption and hope. May it
The long setting is complex, opening with a darkly chromatic introduction to
characterize the plight of the innocent. The opening phrase for mezzo begins
with a emotional imaging of "ashes round their eyes." This long tableaux of
human misery is answered by an increasing light image and harmonic colors of
repairing them, as Anton's last line declares, "with love."
A cycle of poems by Anton Gill is set for high voice and