a song cycle with monologues for mezzo soprano and piano with optional cello and string quartet

Susannah Self

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a song cycle with monologues for mezzo soprano and piano with optional cello and string quartet

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Composer Susannah Self
Year of Composition 2019
Duration ca.45'

Instrumentation Piano, Mezzo Soprano
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-ss1a1


Analysis was created in response to a question: by what methods can a singer/composer express her authentic voice? This emerged out of feedback from performers and audiences after my opera Quilt Song in which they appreciated the value of allowing an artist’s vulnerability to be expressed through her life experience. By embracing this approach I found that audiences had the potential to become empathetically engaged with the subject.

“The Requiem, you know it brought on the tears, but it wasn’t bad tears. I think that’s when it really started to touch me.”
– Audience member after performance of Analysis on Skyros, Greece 25/08/19

Analysis explores turning points in my life as a singer/composer through the prism of a ten-year Jungian analysis. It is dark, witty, true, revealing and sometimes outrageous. When I premiered the work at the COMA Festival in Birmingham in 2019, I performed it within an interactive installation which I created titled Island. This consisted of two industrial pallets on castors with a large pile of drift wood set on top of them. Halfway through the performance just before Dream I separated the pallets. You as the performer are at liberty to present a multitude of interpretations.

You can sing sections or individual numbers as you wish. The music was originally improvised, therefore to some extent you can play around with the rhythms in the songs to suit your interpretation. There is the possibility to employ extended vocal techniques in TRANSFORMATION if you want, or if you prefer you can omit this section. The intention of TRANSFORMATION is to experiment with de-emphasising the technique of the operatic voice and allow the singer to connect to their authentic inner voice. This in turn empowers the audience to respond to the performer and helps to increase their acceptance of unusual presentations of sound.

2020 Analysis extracts from Susannah Self on Vimeo.