And the Ocean was Gone

Roydon Tse

Sue Goyette

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Performance forces:
soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone — large chamber ensemble



Based on the evocative poem number Fifty-two from poet Sue Goyette’s award-winning anthology “Ocean”, the music takes the listener through the narrative of this witty but sarcastic poem that was meant as an ecological protest against the way humans have treated the ocean. In order to unify the music as the text unfolded, I have chosen to center the music around a four note motif heard at the beginning of the piece. This motif (which is incidentally the key motif in Berg’s opera “Lulu”) is built on two fourths separated by a semitone, for example the set Eb-Bb|A-E heard at the very beginning. This relationship becomes the epicenter of the piece as it undergoes development and variation techniques such as inversion and retrograde.