The moon above keeps watch tonight (2020)

Dacamera Young Artists

Camille Jasensky; soprano, Masha Popova; flute, Pablo Munoz Salido; viola, Hope Cowan; harp, Chelsea de Souza; piano

Program note:

“The Moon Above Keeps Watch Tonight” was commissioned by the Dacamera Young Artist Program. Librettist Amanda Hollander and I have been collaborating to write an opera based on Gwangsoon Ryu, a war heroine of Korea, for several years. She made a trip out to Korea to do more research on the subject matter earlier last year and she wrote this portion of the text during that time. As we were working together very closely, she would show me the text as soon as she had something, and the moment I saw the lullaby text, I immediately fell in love with it—somehow, the melody came right into my head at first sight. I have not had a proper chance to really realize the work until this commission came to me, and I am so grateful I could finally showcase this beautiful text.

Text:

Written by Amanda Hollander

The moon above keeps watch tonight.
Sleep safely in her patient light.
Dark stars gaze down to watch the snow
Your room warm in the candle’s glow
 
Don’t fear the sun
When dawn is far
Don’t hide your face
From cloud and star
 
Dream of pinecones
Dream of rain
Dream of wind-tossed
Grass and leaves

The mountain bends her snowy head
To guard you as you sleep in bed
The moss and rose await their birth
While hush of winter stills the earth

Dream of springtime
Dream of trees
Dream of blossoms
Shaken free
 
The moon keeps watch for you tonight.
She whispers stories with her light.
The sun will fall and dreams will fly.
The moon will open up the sky.

© 2014 by Nicky Sohn