Blue Ridge A Cappella
female voice, piano
Rick Mulkey's fine poems about VA state authorities carrying out a eugenics campaign in the 1930s provide the inspiration for these songs which are both stark and lovely. The spirit of rural Appalachia is felt in the words and music, which evokes the feeling of folk music and hymnody. In case you're wondering, yes, there is a cappella singing--in all three songs, in fact. The work begins and ends with the singer unaccompanied; it's an eerie, effective touch.
I absolutely love the sense of drama and poignancy of these songs, both in this and the subsequent versions for voice and chamber ensembles.