Stephen Cabell


Stephen Cabell (b. 1984) is a New York-based composer of sonically engaging and arrestingly wrought music that attempts to grab the listener from the very first moments and never lets go. His artistic mission is to write music that can be understood and appreciated by both casual and expert listeners.


  • Instrumentation: soprano and prepared piano
  • Duration: 6 minutes
  • Completed: 2007


Weary sets the text of William Blake's "Ah Sunflower!" from Songs of Innocence and Experience. Laying mostly in the lower register for the soprano, I wanted to give the effect of a woman exhausted by life; counting the hours until her inevitable, welcomed death. The piano is prepared with museum putty across the 4th partial node of the bass strings and in the middle register near the pins to produce a muted sound. The effect of the prepared piano is to mimic the ticking of a clock.

Ah Sunflower! by William Blake

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the travellers journey is done.

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves and aspire,
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.

© Copyright 2018 Stephen Cabell