The Lullaby Trilogy
Choir | Original texts | Approx. 15 minutes total
This is a set of pieces written over the course of a year amidst moments with my newborn daughter, Penelope. All three pieces are settings of original poems which when performed together provide a lush and sprawling arc over 15 minutes. The pieces are meant to be performed as a group, but also may be performed individually.
1. Follow the Stars
SATB choir and piano | Original text and music | 5 minutes
“This poem and tune were both inspired by the late-night and early-morning nonsense songs I sang to my baby daughter in her first few months of life. Although those songs and words were admittedly much sillier than this particular one, the general sentiment is the same: a singable melody with a folk-like quality inspired by the music of Nova Scotia and the East Coast with soothing words which will eventually comfort a little baby girl who cannot yet understand them.”
2. LIGHT UP
Treble choir with piano | Original text | 4 minutes
A piece written for unison treble choir (with occasional divisi), this piece was written for children’s choir. The quietly hypnotic flow and the rich piano part encourage ensembles to incorporate movement or staging in performance.
3. All the love that lies beneath
SATB choir | Original text | 5 minutes
Solo piano, electro-acoustic, multi-media
THE PULL – “The seed of this project is human longing. That pull from without rather than the push from within. This can take on many different forms on many different levels both conscious and subconscious. THE PULL is that image or smell or sound or person or place or reactive sensation that draws a yearning or a pining from us. From a baby seeing a parent and being completely overtaken by the desire to be held by them, to a person longing for their place of childhood through the pathway of memories. From the satisfaction of simply being near someone and the pining for that when apart. Endless possibilities and personal interpretations exist of THE PULL. It’s a core feeling (or feelings) which can be at the same time warmly comfortable and deeply unsettling.”
THE PULL is a full-length show for solo pianist which features electro-acoustic elements, spoken word, extended techniques, lighting & staging. A larger work comprised of smaller segments, Edward has commissioned several Canadian poets to write poems on the theme – texts which will be incorporated into the show and “set” to solo piano.
Commissioned by the Annapolis Valley Honour Choirs for their 30th anniversary season and premiered on May 25th, 2019 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Ballades for solo piano
A set of five Ballades for solo piano, these are programmatic instrumental works inspired by, and structured on, original poems by Canadian poets, written for the immersive show THE PULL for solo piano and multimedia. As character pieces, each Ballade presents its own individual character and musical construction with certain thematic and rhythmic elements uniting each piece into the larger group.
To be work-shopped in early 2020 with the premiere tour to take place in late 2020.
Treble choir with piano
The Coastline Medley is an arrangement of Nova Scotian folk-songs which was commissioned by the Coastline Singers for their 10th Anniversary Season. The collection of traditional tunes features “The Chezzetcook Song”, “I Will Give My Love An Apple”, and “Farewell to Nova Scotia”, all which originated on the south shore of Nova Scotia.
To be premiered by the Coastline Singers in the Spring of 2020 in Nova Scotia.
Two 5 minute works for recorded piano and electronics for the traditional Shavasana (Savasana) at the finale of a yoga session.
Cello and piano with spoken word
A 5 movement work for cello and piano inspired by the book We are all the Same by journalist Jim Wooten. A story about a South African boy, Nkosi Johnson, born with AIDS who, throughout his 12 years, had a monumental impact on the public perception of the AIDS pandemic.
Too solemn for day, too sweet for night
This piece is for mixed-voice choir and is a setting of the brief, yet stunning poem by William Sydney Walker. Premiere details to be announced soon.
“TOO solemn for day, too sweet for night,
Come not in darkness, come not in light;
But come in some twilight interim,
When the gloom is soft, and the light is dim.”
A setting of Walter de la Mare’s text of the same title on the subject of Jean François Gravelet (1824-1897), better known as Charles Blondin, who was a French tightrope walker and acrobat whose tightrope walks across Niagara Falls made him famous particularly in North America.
In the Train
TTBB choir with piano
A setting for treble choir of James Thompson’s “In the Train”. The rhythmically flowing and driving piano part allows the voices to soar above in this increasingly exciting 5 minutes.
Arrangements by the composer also for SATB choir with piano and SSAA choir with piano.
White in the moon the long road lies
A setting of the text of the same name in part XXXVI of A. E Housman’s “A Shropshire Lad”.
The Arrow of Time
Continuous form with three subsections:
(The Arrow of Time)(Time and Space)(The Arrow of Time II)
“This piece is a musical reflection of the period of inspired thought, which I experienced after delving into the writings of Dr. Stephen Hawking. Particularly, those of Hawking’s theories and descriptions regarding Time-Space and the Arrows of Time (of which Hawking delineates three types). Ideas involving time as a dimension, and our one-directional experience in it from past to future, were especially inspiring to the creative thought in this piece.
In three distinct but connected sections, this work is a continuous unravelling of musical ideas –ideas that are always aware of the passing of time and our conception of it. I encourage the listener to experience time as it shifts identities throughout the piece – in one moment ticking along, while in the next seemingly stretching and slowing down to an unusually slow state. This work was created on a base of inspired thought and I hope that it will in turn inspire creative and emboldened thoughts in the listener.” -Taken from the program notes for the premiere.
*Premiered by Everett Hopfner at the Canadian Music Centre, Toronto on January 25th, 2016
A setting of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Wandrers Nachtlied I. (German)
My Name is Olemaun Pokiak
The Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble has commissioned Edward Enman to write for a revisited presentation of Fatty Legs – a show which tells the story of Olemaun Pokiak leaving her home in the High Arctic to attend a residential school in Aklavik in Canada’s North.
Premiered by Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble on a tour of Canada’s East Coast in 2015 with tours of Ontario in 2017 and 2018. More information about Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble can be found here.
So, good night, with lullaby
Time’s Small Space
Jazz Chart for Keyboard and Duo Voice
Original text and music
A new choral theatre work with Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble, cello and piano.
Original material by Edward Enman and Claire Gallant
(Premiered Friday, February 1st, 2013 – St. Matthews United Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Subsequently performed on Sunday, April 7th, 2013, at the Bicentennial Theatre, Middle Musquidoboit, Nova Scotia)
(2011, revised 2017)
Text: “Rubies” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Premiered by Choeur Adleisia in Montréal, QC, 2017.
Published by Renfoth Music (2018).
Then Shall I Leap Into Love
Setting of the text by Mechthild von Magdeburg
I cannot dance, Lord, unless you lead me.
If you want me to leap with abandon,
You must intone the song.
Then shall I leap into love,
From love to knowledge,
From knowledge into enjoyment,
And from enjoyment beyond all human sensations.
There I want to remain, yet want also to circle higher still.
we want to smile.
we want to smile. is a piece inspired by hundreds of hours of witnessing how people live and interact with each other in many situations around the world. These scenes of human interaction took place in coffee shops, restaurants, and most importantly; airports. What was especially noticed was the suppression of overt emotionality by routine and familiarity. The presence of emotional states such as excitement, thoughtfulness, and happiness were all reduced to their lesser extremes. The original text began to formulate from the scenes of dull frustration as people waited for their boarding call, or for their morning coffee to arrive at their table.
Some of the statements in the text represent what people outwardly show (we want to give, we want to smile), while others represent a suppressed emotional element of many people (we want to feel, we want to forget, we want to imagine). These particular phrases may never be said or acted upon by these people, but are at the core of their lives. In a natural, forgiving, and encouraging social atmosphere, these statements would be said and experienced frequently with a focused energy that is absent in their present lives.
Setting of the text by Walter de la Mare (Verses 1,2,4) and Edward Enman (Verse 3)
When music sounds, gone is the earth I know,
And all her lovely things even lovelier grow;
Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees
Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies.
When music sounds, out of the water rise
Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes,
Rapt in strange dreams burns each enchanted face,
With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place.
When music sounds, I warm in gentlest of time
Soft and plush the moments through me climb,
Blind to the memories stretched forth near to break
As I so near to sleep, my leave do take.
When music sounds, all that I was I am
Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came;
And from Time’s woods break into distant song
The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.