Lawrence Moss

New Dawn

innova 027




1.         Ligeti Light (2014)

Kadisha Onalbayeva, piano


2.         New Dawn (2001)

Kiev Philharmonic, Arnold Winston, conductor


3.         Voyagers (2018)

            Composers’ Choir, Daniel Shaw, conductor


            Moments (2018)

4.         Calmly

5.         Whimsically

6.         Aria

7.         Back and Forth

8.         Vivace

            Eric Kutz, cello; Audrey Andrist, piano


9.         Grand is the Seen (2014)

            Danielle Talamantes, soprano; Sarah Eckman McIver, flute; Joel Ayau, piano


            Gamelan for Flute and Percussion (2013)

10.       Quietly

11.       Nighttime

12.       Dancetime

            Sarah Eckman McIver, flute; Lee Hinkle, percussion


            De Profundis (2015)

13.       Solemn

14.       Lament

15.       Ringing

            Khasma Piano Duo: Ashlee Mack, Katherine Palumbo


            Dreams by Day and Night (2014)

16.       On Viewing a Waterfall

17.       On Drinking Wine

18.       On Hearing a Flute on a Spring Night

Danielle Talamantes, soprano; Sarah Eckman McIver, flute; Lee Hinkle, percussion; Joel Ayau, piano



            5 Bagatelles for Percussion solo (2012)

19.       Drumming

20.       Still

21.       Bulgar

22.       Duet

23.       Encounters

            Lee Hinkle, percussion


            Inside, Outside:  4 Haiku for Our Time (2016)

24.       Inside car…

25        Inside room…

26.       Inside earth…

27.       Inner turmoil…

Danielle Talamantes, soprano; Sarah Eckman McIver, flute, piccolo




New Dawn is the title of the second piece on this album (which is the second of my works, after New Paths, to be brought out by Innova Recordings). New Dawn also marks a new stage in my life. I retired a little over four years ago, after teaching for nearly 56 years at Mills College, Yale, and the University of Maryland, College Park.


Now, at the ripe old age of 91, I feel the new dawn of a life devoted entirely to music composition and family. 


The first fruit of my newfound leisure is this album. Other projects include a pairing of my early opera, The Brute, with an even earlier opera (La Serva Padrona in my translation and re-orchestration) in a production by World Oceans Opera ( Another work-in-progress is an entire album devoted to new piano music written expressly for Steinway Artist, Kadisha Onalbayeva.


For further details about my life as a composer please see my web site:




Ligeti Light reflects both a debt to the late great Hungarian composer György Ligeti as well as an indulgence in my love of punning. It starts out as a typical Ligeti etude might, with tight imitative gestures, but it quickly finds its own path.                                          


New Dawn is a tone poem for orchestra based on five Tang Dynasty poems, each the subject of a movement. The movements proceed without interruption. The first one, Spring Dawn, finds the poet guiltily waking up after dawn (I wish I were so virtuous!). In Early Morning Meditation the poet proceeds shortly after dawn to meditate in his favorite bamboo grove. Passing Beauties is a light satire on court ladies showing off their beautiful gowns in an afternoon pageant. Evening Flute Song proceeds on the day’s journey into night while the last poem, Saying Goodbye, finds our poet sorrowfully parting from an old friend at midnight.


Voyagers is a setting for chorus and piano of two late poems by Walt Whitman. In the first, Sail Out for Good, the poet imagines death as an adventure, eagerly journeying to the Great Unknown! In the second setting, One Thought Ever at the Fore, “all the peoples of the globe…  are bound in this journey to the same destination.” Here the great poet of democracy says we are all – both black and white – literally in the same boat on that final journey.




I   Sail Out for Good, Eidolan Yacht!


Heave the anchor short!

raise main-sail and jib - steer forth!

Little white-hull’d sloop, now speed on really deep waters,


Depart, depart from solid earth

No more returning to these shores . . .


II   One Thought Ever at the Fore


One thought ever at the fore -

That in the Divine Ship, the World, breastring Time and Space,

All peoples of the globe together sail, sail the same voyage,

     Are bound

             to the same destination.


Walt Whitman: Goodbye my Fancy


Moments for cello and piano is the most recent piece on this album. The five movements take us through five contrasting moods.  From “Calmly” we proceed to “Whimsically” to the heart of the piece, an extended duet: “Aria”. Cello and piano trade gestures in “Back & Forth” leading to a vivace finale.


Grand is the Seen for soprano, flute and piano returns to Whitman, this time to his poem of the same title, celebrating the seen and the unseen … “so multiform, puzzling, evolutionary.”   Whitman - the poet of Democracy and Darwin!


                      Grand is the Seen


Grand is the seen the light to me - grand are the sky and stars

Grand is the earth, and grand are lasting time and space,

And grand their laws, so uniform, puzzling, evolutionary


But grander far the unseen soul of me, comprehending,

         endowing all those,

Lighting the light, the sky and stars, delving the earth

         sailing the sea,

(What were all those, indeed, without thee, unseen soul?

        Of what amount without thee?


More evolutionary, vast, puzzling, O my soul!

More uniform far     -   more lasting,    thou than they!


                             Walt Whitman: Old Age Echoes


Gamelan for flute and percussion is my version of one of my favorite sounds: that of the Balinese gamelan - a unique orchestra made up of bronze chimes and gongs. On Track 10 we hear its typical quiet, undulating sound. Track 11 introduces the flute as a nighttime visitor, while things liven up a bit with Track 12, “Dancetime”.


De Profundis features the gifted Khasma Piano Duet. De Profundis is Latin for the Greek Khasma (chasm), which is the name of a canyon in Colorado where the two pianists like to go hiking - hence the name of their duet. Track 13 (“Solemn”) combines playful and solemn moments, while Track 14 is a Lament.  Track 15 (De Profundis”) quotes a Mass by one of my favorites - the great Renaissance composer Josquin des Pres. De Profundis: back to Khasma!


Dreams by Day and Night for soprano, flute, percussion, and piano is a setting of three poems by my favorite Chinese poet, the Tang Dynasty’s Li Bai. On Track 16 the poet views and comments on a famous waterfall. Track 17 has the drunken poet urging us to drink even more wine. Legend has it that he committed suicide (?) by trying to kiss - while drunk - the moon’s reflection in a lake and fell overboard! On Track 18 a distant tune on the jade flute reminds the dissolute poet of his lost youth.


Dreams by Day and by Night


I  On Viewing a Waterfall


Sun shining on the incense burner

     A purple haze goes up.


Far away a distant waterfall…

Flies down three thousand feet….


II   On Drinking Wine


Don’t you see the Yellow River’s waters

        Pouring down from heaven…?


Don’t you see those sad white locks -

       At dawn black silk -

                At dusk white snow?


Then drink up happiness to the full!


Let’s drink together, as if there were no morrow


Let’s let our pleasures drown that ancient,




III   On Hearing an Evening Flute Song


Whose jade flute sounds   drop slowly     

               Filling the whole town?


Who could not be moved

             By tender thoughts 

                                         Of home?                                              


                                    Li Bai, Tang Dynasty, 701 - 762 A.D.

                                              (translated by LKM)


Five Bagatelles for solo percussion allows virtuoso percussionist Lee Hinkle to show his stuff.  “Drumming,” shows off the sounds of various kinds of drum beaters. “Still” is just that, while “Bulgar” explores off-beat Balkan rhythms. “Duet” brings in the marimba in a duet with vibraphone. “Encounters” is a summing-up of the previous four movements.


Inside, Outside: 4 Haiku for Our Time is a setting of four poems, beginning with my musings on seeing kitten pawprints on my car’s windshield (Track 24: “Inside car…”). Track 25 muses about approaching darkness (“Inside room”…) while “Inside Earth…” (Track 26) wonders what happens inside our planet? Finally Track 27, “Inner turmoil…”, laments what we ­– on this planet – are doing to it and ourselves. This is the great question of our lives.


Inside, Outside: 4 Haiku for Our Time




Inside car

   sitting, waiting


Outside rain

    drizzle, sprinkling


On the windshield








Inside room

    quietly reading


Outside            darkness

    slowly rising


Fills the evening’s

    vaulted sky




Inside earth

    a molten rising


Outside mountain

    a fiery river


Bursts forth

    coursing down



To the sea




Inner turmoil

    sparks and shouting


Outer tranquil

   earth’s quiet turning


Mankind’s chaos

   heaven spinning



    will it end?


                                                LKM            2016




Performer Bios


Kadisha Onalbayeva is the first pianist from Kazakhstan to be designated as a Steinway Artist and has given performances in Asia, Costa Rica, Europe, Kazakhstan, Russia, USA and Uzbekistan. She is also an accomplished composer of works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, voice and piano.


“New Dawn” is conducted by the late Arnold Winston leading the Kiev Philharmonic.


The Composer’s Choir records music by living composers. In 8 years it has made recordings by composers living in Israel, New Zealand, France, England and the United States.  It is directed by founder Daniel Shaw.


Eric Kutz holds the Barbara K. Steppel Memorial Cello Fellowship at the University of Maryland, where he is an Associate Professor. Kutz is also the cellist of the Murasaki Duo and the Left Bank Quartet.


Audrey Andrist is a first-prize winner of the Mozart International, San Antonio International, Eckhardt-Gramatte and Juilliard Concerto Competitions. She is a member of the Stern/Andrist Duo, Strata, and the Post-Classical Ensemble.


Soprano Danielle Talamantes is celebrating her ninth season on the Metropolitan Opera roster. 

In addition to appearing on Innova recordings she is featured on Canciones espanolas and Heaven and Earth:  A Duke Ellington Songbook. 


Flutist Sarah Eckman McIver has appeared internationally playing C flute and piccolo in music by flutist-composers as well as flauto traverso in performances of early music.


Pianist Joel Ayau has served as Assistant Conductor with the Washington National Opera as well as cover conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra. He is on the piano faculty of George Washington University.


Lee Hinkle is a Yamaha Performing Artist and principal percussionist with the 21st Century Consort in Washington DC.  He is also a baritone vocalist as well as Co-Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Maryland.                                                                     


The Khasma Piano Duo was formed in 2012 by Ashlee Mack and Katherine Palumbo.  The duo is dedicated to performing works of the 20th and 21st centuries. They can be heard on New Paths (Innova 777) devoted to earlier music by L.K. Moss.



Producer: Lawrence Moss

Engineer: Antonino d'Urso (opusrite)

Recording dates: 9 sessions in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Recording Studio, 11/22/2015 - 09/2/1/2018

Mastered by Greg Reierson at RareForm Mastering

Photos: Graydon Hindley Moss (2016)


Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.

Philip Blackburn, director, design

Chris Campbell, operations director

Tim Igel, publicist