The Angle of Repose (1991)
Baritone voice, Khaen, Alto Flute
The Angle of Repose is an evening song, commissioned by Thomas Buckner and scored for baritone, alto flute and khaen (a Thai mouth organ). It incorporates two texts. The first is an Ojibwa Indian text quoted by Peter Matthiessen in his book Nine-Headed Dragon River. The second is from a letter written in 1904 by Rainer Maria Rilke to his wife, the sculptor Clara Westhoff, while on holiday in Denmark. The angle of repose is the angle of inclination of a slope at which sliding earth and boulders come to rest.
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