Written for mezzo-soprano and accompanied by piano and flute, Dreamland is one of my favorite pieces I’ve written. Do I say that with every piece? Cause I mean it with every piece. Vain? Probably. Anyway, I used a wonderfully dark poem by Lewis Carroll with the same title. I wrote this one after To a Stranger. Mostly because I had so much fun singing To a Stranger, that I wanted to write something I could sing in my recital. So Dreamland was born. This recording is from my senior composition recital, featuring myself as the mezzo-soprano, and my friends Taylor McCulloch on piano, and Emma McCulloch on flute.
I used the key of D minor because I love its heavy and dark tones. The mezzo-soprano voice ranges from a rumbling chest voice to a soaring head voice, giving this piece a range of emotions. Like To a Stranger, I used text painting in the both the piano and the voice. The beginning is slow, dirge-like, representing the “midnight mists creeping” and the “mighty dead” treading in the first and second stanzas. The third stanza is brighter and faster, which represents the “blaze of noon day splendor.” The last stanza returns to the dirge-like beginning.