“Of my lungs” is a collection of 10 pieces for voice by Drew Swatosh, Carolyn Quick, and Lisa Neher. The title “Of my Lungs” was inspired by an excerpt from Drew’s Opera “If Only I Could Give You the Sun.” This opera, penned by librettist Brian Dang, is a trans/non-binary retelling of the myth of Icarus. In the final aria “I want Everything” (which will be featured in our score release), Icarus flies up and away, claiming life and agency for their body and gender beyond expectation and beyond the myth, singing:
“Is mine. Everything. The sun the heat on my skin the light of its rays is mine. The moon that dances in step luminous and glowing and its power that manifests in waves is mine. The air that flows in and out of my lungs And out of my nose and through every living creature and tree on Earth is mine.”
-Brian Dang (2021) We loved this imagery of lungs and flowing air, not only because each of our pieces features the human voice – which itself is intrinsically linked with breath – but because many of these works were written during the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic: a time when things seemed to stand still and everyone’s awareness became centered upon our breath, upon what was being passed between our lungs. “Of my Lungs” highlights this in turn. And as we were choosing works for this score release, many of our pieces also featured texts that centered around breath.