text by Cortlandt Matthews

written for Jessica Matthews

Soprano. Piano.


  1. on a particularly clear night

  2. a streetlight manifesto

  3. a Mulder meditation

  4. moonstruck moments

  5. from a particularly captivating sunset

text: (5. from a particularly captivating sunset)

A summer sunset
sets the sky aflame,
and I'd
frankly rather
focus on my iPhone.

Nature's infinite palette
seems less palpable --
less ready -- less real
than photos through filters.

Since every single day
turned to every single night,
I learned I learned I
take these things for granted.
But as I watch blue fold to
every single color,
I just can't fold my
patience into wonder.

And as future's past set Suns
echo in embers,
I wonder:
Will I still hang my head
from the pressures of presence?


  • 4/22/2017 (premiere of complete set)

    • Jessica Matthews, soprano; Jonathan Palmer Lakeland, piano

    • First Unitarian Church - Phialdelphia, PA

  • 5/28/2016 - Selections from Nocturnes

    • Jessica Matthews, soprano; Sergey Tkachenko, piano

    • All Saints' Church - Princeton, NJ

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