Songs of Enchantment

Two Settings of Clark Ashton Smith for female voice and piano

Camden Reeves

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Two Settings of Clark Ashton Smith for female voice and piano

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Composer Camden Reeves
Year of Composition 2020
Duration ca.13'

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-cr2soe1


1 – Desire of Vastness
2 – Harmony

Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961) was an author, poet, visual artist and sculptor. As an author of weird fiction, he was associated with the Lovecraft circle and the pulp magazine Weird Tales. It is for these short stories – which range from tales of the macabre to fantasy and science fiction – that he is largely known today. It is my hope that these settings may play some part in drawing greater attention to the extraordinary qualities of Smith’s poetic work.

A recurrent theme in Smith’s poetry and prose (as with that of H.P. Lovecraft) is cosmic horror: the irrelevance of human concerns in the face of a largely indifferent universe. These two texts offer contrasting meditations on time and space. ‘Desire of Vastness’ captures what it is like to stare into the darkness of the infinite void with wonder, longing and terror. In ‘Harmony’, one stares again and instead finds peace and tranquillity.

I am grateful to CASiana Enterprises, the Literary Estate of Clark Ashton Smith, and William A. Dorman, for their kind permission to set Smith’s poetry.