The images in Beale’s poems are always stark, and sometimes shocking. They are spare and unadorned, and tell precisely about a fierce inner reality. Most people do not look at or acknowledge this reality, except possible in their most private moments. Depression is viewed as incapacity and weakness. Yet depression and darkness are the well springs of creativity, and finally must be accepted and honored in the life.
The songs were composed in June of 1996. Following the completion of my “Mass” in the previous December, and a six-month period of utter exhaustion, these songs were the next things I wrote. They are so unlike the Latin Mass that I didn’t understand the relationship between the songs and the Mass. A composer friend who knows my work well suggested that the songs might represent a sermon on the Mass – the speaking out with the authority to do so of something utterly necessary to be said and heard, This idea makes sense to me, and I offer these songs to you in that spirit.
Program note by David Maslanka