Brooke Joyce

Waves of Stone

Innova 753


1        Six Degrees of Separation (2000)                                                                                                      [8.46]

           Carol Hester, flute; Stephanie Zelnick, clarinet; Jubal Fulks, violin; Eric Kutz, cello;
           Miko Kominami, piano; Michael Geary, percussion


2        dark waters (2007)                                                                                                                                            [15.14]

           The Murasaki Duo: Eric Kutz, cello; Miko Kominami, piano


       Three Iowa Ballads (2008)                                                                                          

3        I.    The MinerÕs Chant                                                                                                                                                   [4.46]

4        II.   The Ballad of Hardin Town                                                                                                                                 [6.06]

5        III.  My Little German Home Across the Sea                                                                                                       [5.46]

           Andrew D. Whitfield, baritone; Spencer Martin, viola;
           Brooke Joyce, percussion/melodica


6        Come up from the fields, father (1994)                                                                                  [14.08]

           Karen Kanakis, soprano; Carol Hester, flute; Stephanie Zelnick, clarinet;
           Eric Kutz, cello; Brooke Joyce, piano


       Waves of Stone (2008)

7        I.    The Contemplation of Water                                                                                                                              [5.17]

8        II.   the still point                                                                                                                                                                [5.09]

9        III.  The Pipes of Heaven                                                                                                                                               [5.14]

           The Unison Piano Duo: Du Huang and Xiao Hu, piano


10     toydogmusic (2003)                                                                                                                                            [5.37]

           Carol Hester, piccolo; Brooke Joyce, toy piano


                                                                                                                                                      TOTAL DURATION          [76.05]


All compositions are published by toydogmusic (ASCAP). All rights reserved.



Born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan, Brooke Joyce holds degrees in theory/composition from Princeton University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Lawrence University. He attended summer courses with Joan Tower and Magnus Lindberg, and in 1997, he traveled to Wales on a Kittredge Educational Grant to study with Alun Hoddinott. His music has been performed by such ensembles as the Indianapolis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the San Francisco Youth Symphony, the Brentano Quartet, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Nash Ensemble, and the Verdehr Trio. In addition to his concert music, Brooke has collaborated on several musical theater works with playwright Frederick Gaines, including Unbekannt, a musical based on the life of the famous Anastasia pretender Anna Anderson, and An Imaginary Line, based on the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. Brooke is the recipient of the Joseph Bearns Prize, the Wayne Peterson Prize, the Darius Milhaud Award, and many citations from the National Federation of Music Clubs and ASCAP. Brooke teaches theory, history and composition at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and is a faculty member of The Walden School, a summer music festival for young composers in New Hampshire.

Waves of Stone features six chamber music works composed over a fifteen-year period, beginning with a setting of Walt WhitmanÕs ŅCome up from the fields, father,Ó which was written while I was a student at Lawrence University in 1994, and ending with Three Iowa Ballads, written for Andy Whitfield, Spencer Martin and myself in the spring of 2008. In between are four works for various combinations of instruments. Six Degrees of Separation, composed for Non Sequitur in 2000, is an exuberant, virtuosic study in rhythm and color for two winds (flute and clarinet), two strings (violin and cello), piano and percussion. dark waters, written for the Murasaki Duo in 2007, was inspired by a variety of sources, including the music of late-period Liszt, the paintings of Mark Rothko, and the experience of canoeing on a mist-enshrouded lake. Waves of Stone, composed for the Unison Piano Duo in 2008, is an attempt to bring together the disparate worlds of traditional Chinese philosophy and Western music through the inspirational words of Mencius and Zhuangzi. The disc ends with a much less profound meditation on two sources of amusement in my life: toy instruments (specifically, the toy piano) and toy dogs (specifically, the pug).

Many people made this recording possible. To the performers who lent their talents to this disc, I offer my sincere thanks and utmost gratitude. Thanks to Bruce Larson, who tirelessly worked with me to get the best sonic results from our recording sessions, along with Dan Baldwin, who offered a discerning pair of ears to help us with balance. Both the Iowa Arts Council and Luther College offered generous funding for this project, for which I am humbly grateful. Thanks to Julie Strom and AJ Perling for designing this booklet.
Finally, my heartfelt thanks to my wife, Jennifer, and my parents, Mary and Bill, for all their love and support.


The MinerÕs Chant

Away down in that hole,

With a light we only see

Dampness with coal and slate,

Its fall may be my fate.


Away down in that hole,

Day by day we dig and slave,

Our strength and body and our heart

Must be strong and must be brave.


Away down in that hole,

Dark, oh dark as it can be.

We pound and pound and dig

With all our strength and might.


Away down in that hole,

Our companion is the mule,

The poor beast stays there all his life,

HeÕs one of our only tools.


Away down in that hole,

A slide and then a groan,

One more life IÕve been told,

I heard that miner moan.


Away down in that hole,

We take our buddy home,

The voice of his crying wife,

My God, another life.


Away down in that hole,

Oh God, pity another soul,

We buried him on the hill.

Farewell, his voice is still.


We tramp back home alone,

To comfort wife and family,

Our hearts are sad with grief to bear,

WeÕre the only ones to care.


The Ballad of Hardin Town

IÕll tell you a tale of Ioway,

That only the old folks know;

About a crime in Hardin town

One hundred years ago.


The Indians roamed the forests then,

The wily Fox and Sac,

And lived in peace and harmony

Upon the Neutral Tract.


And there the white men built the town

Right smack across the border;

In all the West the wickedest

With neither law nor order.


And there they built two grand saloons

Called Sodom and Gomorrah,

That lived up to their evil names

And caused a world of sorrow.


One night an old chief asked to see

Their owner Grahame Thorne,

And says, ŌMy daughter cries all day

ŌTwixt shame and sorrow torn.


ŌAnd now I would see Taffy Jones,

Who also owns this place,

That I might closely question him

About my childÕs disgrace:


A shot came through the window pane,

A shot came through the door,

And in the lamplight all could see

The chief die on the floor.


Then silently his son strode in,

His eyes were wild and wide,

ŌConfess who killed my father, sirs,

Shall vengeance be denied?Õ


He fired then a single shot,

But it was done most vilely.

Alas! He missed both Jones and Thorne

And killed poor Patrick Riley!


They did not know who killed the chief,

But he had murdered Pat;

They threw him into prison,

Yes! he got ten days for that!


Gone are those wild and olden times,

Gone is the old frontier;

Gone are the white men and the red

That I have told of here.


The railroad soon spelled HardinÕs doom,

It died with none to mourn;

Where Sodom and Gomorrah stood

March silent fields of corn.


My Little German Home Across the Sea

I love to think about the days so full of glee and joy,

That never will come back again to me.

Oh, it was many years ago, when but a little boy,

That I lived there so happy, light and free.

No matter where I roam, I donÕt forget my home,

That home, it was so ever dear to me,

And when my evening prayer was said,

IÕd lay me down to sleep

In that little German home across the sea.


I never shall forget the day I left the Fatherland,

To sail across the stormy ocean foam.

My friends, they came around me and took me by the hand,

And hoped that safely back again IÕd come.

My father and my mother, old, they both stood by the door,

And gave their tearful blessings unto me,

But now, they both are dead and gone

I neÕer shall see them more,

In that little German home across the sea.


IÕve traveled many weary miles around this world for years,

And many more, I yet expect to roam,

But when I lay me down to sleep, then in my dreams appears,

A vision of that dear old German home,

And when my days are over here, if it were for the best,

Oh, it would bring much joy and peace to me,

If I could close my eyelids here, and lay me down to sleep,

In that little German home across the sea.


Come up from the fields, father

Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass (1865)

Come up from the fields, father, hereÕs a letter from our Pete,

And come to the front door, mother, hereÕs a letter from thy dear son.


Lo, Ōtis autumn,

Lo, where the trees, deeper green, yellower and redder,

Cool and sweeten OhioÕs villages with leaves fluttering in the moderate wind,

Where apples ripe in the orchards hang and grapes on the trellisÕd vines,

(Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines?

Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately buzzing?)

Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent after the rain, and with wondrous clouds,

Below too, all calm, all vital and beautiful, and the farm prospers well.


Down in the fields all prospers well,

But now from the fields come, father, come at the daughterÕs call,

And come to the entry, mother, to the front door come right away.

Fast as she can she hurries, something ominous, her steps trembling,

She does not tarry to smooth her hair nor adjust her cap.


Open the envelope quickly,

O this is not our sonÕs writing, yet his name is signÕd,

O a strange hand writes for our dear son, O stricken motherÕs soul!

All swims before her eyes, flashes with black, she catches the main words only,

Sentences broken, gunshot wound in the breast, cavalry skirmish, taken to hospital,

At present low, but will soon be better.


Ah, now the single figure to me,

Amid all teeming and wealthy Ohio with all its cities and farms,

Sickly white in the face and dull in the head, very faint,

By the jamb of a door leans.


Grieve not so, dear mother (the just-grown daughter speaks through her sobs,

The little sisters huddle around speechless and dismayÕd),

See, dearest mother, the letter says Pete will soon be better.


Alas, poor boy, he will never be better (nor maybe needs to be better, that brave and simple soul),

While they stand at home at the door he is dead already,

The only son is dead.


But the mother needs to be better,

She with thin form presently drest in black,

By day her meals untouchÕd, then at night fitfully sleeping, often waking,

In the midnight waking, weeping, longing with one deep longing,

O that she might withdraw unnoticed, silent from life escape and withdraw,

To follow, to seek, to be with her dear dead son.


Recording Engineer: Bruce Larson

Producer: Daniel Baldwin

Cover Photo: ŅItascaÓ by Julie Strom

Booklet Design: AJ Perling

All selections were recorded in the Noble Recital Hall, Luther College, Decorah, IA, between October 2008 and April 2009.

Funding for this recording was made possible by grants from the Iowa Arts Council and Luther College.


Innova Director: Philip Blackburn

Operations Manager: Chris Campbell

Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.