The First Flight Open Access

Refuerzo, Dom (Spring 2020)

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The First Flight

By Dom Refuerzo (often stylized as dom refuerzo)

The First Flight is a collection of six expanded art songs. The phrase “expanded art song” is somewhat confusing however, and it elicits a couple of key questions. First, what are art songs? Second, what is being expanded?

In this recital, Refuerzo explores these questions and asks many more. To them, art songs are the marriage of poetry and music, and each one embodies the composer’s interpretation of the poem at hand. Each piece in this recital expands the art song in terms of instrumentation, number of vocalists, and extended techniques. Art songs transcend time: they combine works from past poets, current composers, and future students of music. Because of this, art songs spark dialogue between people who would otherwise be inaccessible to each other. Art songs are also able to tell elaborate stories. In The First Flight, the pieces are composed and ordered to evoke Refuerzo's story of becoming the pursuer of music they are today. Each poem represents a different part of their yet young life. Refuerzo hopes that, though the recital is a reflection of their individuality, the music will resonate with any audience.

Table of Contents

On the Beach at Night Alone (text by Walt Whitman)



Mayakovsky (text by Frank O'Hara)





Harlem (text by Langston Hughes)

On a Pink Moon (text by Ada Limón)

Still (text by Jordyn King)

epilogue (text by dom refuerzo)

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