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Sleep Song

Musings on the nature of a sleeping child
Ann Silsbee

While watching a beloved child slumber, a parent contemplates those things that sleep brings: a release from the drama of the day, deep cycles of breath, and complete authenticity.

Sleep Song is also available in the song collection A Love Like That: Songs of Unconditional Love.

Vocal Ranges:  Low: b-e" / Medium: c'-f" / High: d'-g"

Item Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Audio Peruse Delivery Method (Print vs. Digital) Price Quantity
SEA-061-00 Low voice, piano - Piano/Vocal Score
4' ME Sheet Music $7.00
SEA-061-01 Medium voice, piano - Piano/Vocal Score
4' ME Sheet Music $7.00
SEA-061-02 High voice, piano - Piano/Vocal Score
4' ME Sheet Music $7.00

Sleep Song

Poem by Ann Silsbee

What I love is to slip late at night
into David's room gaze secretly
down at the soft mask of sleep twitching
with no flush of rage no pout no glee
just the passing in and out of breath
delicately stirring his body
into a hint of motion by which
I know David is living within
safe to love with my whole watching self

Composer's Note: 

The small, disciplined form of "Sleep Song" - nine 9-syllable lines - is one which my friend and poet Ann Silsbee explored throughout her intimate book, "Naming the Disappeared."

What captured my musical imagination was the rhythm of breathing reflected in this poem, a rhythm of which singers are viscerally aware.  What captured my spirit was nearly the same thing:  the beauty, power and vulnerability of breath itself, that most basic sign of life.


Premiere: Carol Harris and Elizabeth Alexander (St. Paul, MN)
Briana Moynihan and Benton Schmidt (Minneapolis, MN)
Harriet McCleary and Pam Sohriakoff (Minneapolis and Bloomington, MN)
Kelly Blackmarr Carlile (Savannah, GA)
Kristen Parkand Bill Cowdery (Ithaca, NY)
Mark Lawrence and Bill Cowdery (Ithaca, NY)
Penney Kimbell and Sarah Meneely‑Kyder. Memorial Concert for Ann Silsbee (Ithaca and New York City, NY)

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