everything which is yes

by Nick Benavides



“everything which is yes”
Nicolas Lell Benavides, composition
Graduate Recital
Student of David Conte
Thursday, May 15, 2014, 8:00PM
Sol Joseph Recital Hall

Danielle Reutter-Harrah, mezzo-soprano
Tyler Catlin, conductor
Guerrilla Composers' Chamber Orchestra
International Low Brass Trio
Jarring Sounds
Chelsea Hollow, soprano Sophie Zhang, piano
The Bog Bodies
Guerrilla Composers' Choir

I would like to thank my teacher, David Conte, who has been a dedicated and tireless pedagogue with endless patience as I have worked to rediscover and improve myself as an artist. Without his guidance I wouldn't have been able to achieve all that I have over the past two years. I couldn't be happier with how things have worked out, and I'm looking forward to continuing my studies this summer with him. I would also like to thank all of the faculty at SFCM who have been instrumental to my development as a composer.
A heartfelt thanks to my performers, who have been so incredibly enthusiastic about giving me their time and attention, especially Danielle Reutter-Harrah and Tyler Catlin, who accepted this project without flinching. Much of this music isn't easy, and all of these performers have always been so amazingly eager to help me out. I don't know how I could have pulled this off without you all!
Thank you to all the various groups who have pushed and mentored me throughout the years. My peers in the department (notably the Hefty Doo Composer Collective), the ensembles that have embraced my writing, and the organizations who have allowed me to work with them. I'm incredibly appreciative of the ensembles and composers who have joined me for Guerrilla Composers Projects, and I hope they keep coming. A tremendous thanks to Lisa Oman, Katy Luo, Steve Horowitz, and the rest of the board and Composers and Schools in Concert for teaching me about music education. A special thank you to Kurt Rohde and Tim Allen who helped me along with lessons and mentorship when I was out of school, and have supported me ever since.
Thank you to my parents for helping and supporting me throughout this adventure. After I decided I was going to study music they encouraged me to pursue it to the fullest and have always told me to never sell myself short.
I'm so lucky to be with such a fantastic person, and I could not be more appreciative of everything Maggie has done for me over the years. She has never wavered in believing in me, and has always been so patient, even as I played her drafts of my music over and over again, pestering to see if she thinks any of it could work.
Finally, the biggest of thanks goes to my grandfather, Eddie Garcia, who has never once thought I would be anything other than a musician. He taught me to use music as an emotional language, and I hope to never forget it.
Thanks to any and all I may have missed, as the number of people who have assisted me are too numerous to list, though that does not mean I appreciate you any less.


released June 4, 2014

Cover design: Lucas Floyd


all rights reserved


Track Name: Who says words with my mouth?
All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

This poetry, I never know what I'm going to say.
I don't plan it.
When I'm outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

- Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (trans. Coleman Barks)
Track Name: I. Leave Me Here Crying (Ah!) (Three Lorca Songs )
I. Leave Me Here Crying (Ah!)

The scream leaves on the wind
Its shadow of cypress.

Leave me here in these fields
Leave me here crying.

All has broken in the world,
Nothing remains but silence.

Leave me here in these fields
Leave me here crying.

Bitten by bonfires,
Lightless horizons,

Leave me, I tell you,
In these fields here crying.

- Federico García Lorca
Track Name: II. The Giant Mirror (Three Lorca Songs )
II. The Giant Mirror

We live beneath
a giant mirror.
Man is blue!

- Federico García Lorca
(trans. Jerome Rothberg)
Track Name: III. Ditty of First Desire (Three Lorca Songs )
III. Ditty of First Desire

In the green morning
I wanted to be a heart.
A heart.

In the ripe evening
I wanted to be a nightingale
A nightingale.

turn orange-colored.
turn the color of love.)

In the vivid morning
I wanted to be myself.
A heart.

And at the evening's end
I wanted to be my voice.
A nightingale.

turn orange-colored.
turn the color of love.

- Federico García Lorca
(trans. Alan S. Trueblood)
Track Name: I. It's such a little thing to weep (“Pain has an element of blank”)
1. -
It's such a little thing to weep —
So short a thing to sigh —
And yet — by Trades — the size of these
We men and women die!

-Emily Dickinson
Track Name: II. Wild nights! (“Pain has an element of blank”)
2. -
Wild nights — Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile — the Winds —
To a Heart in port —
Done with the Compass —
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden —
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor —
Tonight — In Thee!

-Emily Dickinson
Track Name: III. “Faith” is a fine invention (“Pain has an element of blank”)
3. -
"Faith" is a fine invention
When Gentlemen can see —
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency.

-Emily Dickinson
Track Name: IV. Heart, we will forget him! (“Pain has an element of blank”)
4. -
Heart! We will forget him!
You and I — tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave —
I will forget the light!

When you have done, pray tell me
That I may straight begin!
Haste! lest while you're lagging
I remember him!

-Emily Dickinson
Track Name: V. Success is counted sweetest (“Pain has an element of blank”)
5. -
Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory

As he defeated — dying —
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

-Emily Dickinson
Track Name: VI. I felt a funeral in my brain (“Pain has an element of blank”)
6. -
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading — treading — till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through —

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum —
Kept beating — beating — till I thought
My Mind was going numb —

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then space — began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange
Race Wrecked, solitary, here —

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down —
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And finished knowing — then —

-Emily Dickinson
Track Name: VII. I'm nobody! (“Pain has an element of blank”)
7. -
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you — Nobody — Too?
Then there's a pair of us?
Don't tell! they'd advertise — you know!

How dreary — to be — Somebody!
How public — like a Frog —
To tell one's name — the livelong June —
To an admiring Bog!

-Emily Dickinson
Track Name: VIII. I taste a liquor never brewed (“Pain has an element of blank”)
8. -
I taste a liquor never brewed —
From Tankards scooped in Pearl —
Not all the Vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of Air — am I —
And Debauchee of Dew —
Reeling — thro endless summer days —
From inns of Molten Blue —

When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove's door —
When Butterflies — renounce their "drams"—
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats —
And Saints — to windows run —
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the — sun!

-Emily Dickinson
Track Name: i thank You God for most this amazing day
i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping, greenly spirits of trees,
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

- e.e. cummings

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