Cowboy Songs for Them (2015)
Medium: soprano, tenor, and piano
Length: ~14.5 min
Cowboy Songs for Them is a four duet collection of four pre-existing cowboy tunes (two are combined in the third duet) and one original song that have been “re-imagined” for male and female voice and piano. Reflecting various scenes of frontier life, these duets invoke the life and land that was once roamed by the American cowboy.
Each of the settings contains the original statement of the folk tune, usually toward the beginning, with the melody then continually embellished, developed, or reworked as the song evolves. “To Midnight, an epitaph” is not originally a folk song; the text was an epitaph for a horse, and was set to an original tune by the composer. Mixed and changing meters provide rhythmic interest, and often added notes are used to create more complex harmonies than those contained in the original tunes.