Commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra

Live performances of Unremembered are further brought to vivid, immersive life through the inclusion of the Unremembered artwork, created by the cycle’s writer/illustrator, Nathaniel Bellows. For image/video licensing information for Unremembered artwork, please write to

  • 2(pic).ob(ca).2(bcl).1/ gtr/str; electronics
  • Female vocalist
  • 16 min

Programme Note

Related works:
   Scenes from 'Unremembered' for vocal octet or choir and piano - 18'
   Selections from 'Unremembered' for two voices, quartet, and electronics - 18'
   The Swan from 'Unremembered' for voice and piano - 4'
   Three Songs from 'Unremembered' for mezzo-soprano, chamber orchestra, and electronics - 16'
   Unremembered for 7 voices, chamber orchestra, and electronics - 57'
   Unremembered for 3 voices, chamber orchestra, and electronics - 57'
   Unremembered for 3 voices, ensemble, and electronics - 57'

1. The Guest (4'45")
2. The Swan (4')
3. The Witch (6'30")

Songs can be rented and performed individually.

These three songs come from Unremembered, an hour-long, thirteen-movement song cycle inspired by poems and illustrations by writer and visual artist, Nathaniel Bellows. A meditation on memory, innocence, and the haunted grandeur of the natural world, Unremembered recalls strange and beautiful happenings experienced during a childhood in rural Massachusetts: a houseguest takes sudden leave in the middle of the night; a boy makes a shocking discovery on a riverbank; a girl disappears in woods behind a ranging farm; ghosts appear with messages for the living. The cycle explores the ways in which beguiling events in early life can resonate in — and prepare us for — the subtler horrors that lie beyond the realm of childhood.

These arrangements were commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra. The female vocalist should have a wide range (E3-Bb6); otherwise two different vocalists (mezzo and soprano) may be preferred. Vocalist is supported by three pre-recorded vocal parts woven into the electronics, which are live-triggered by laptop. Alternatively these supporting vocal parts can be performed live by three female vocalists. Using the pre-recorded backing tracks necessitates the use of a click track in performance. Please see Unremembered tech rider for more information.



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