Bye for Now for soprano, cello, & piano
PDF score and parts for Bye for Now by Lisa Neher, for soprano (or medium-high voice), piano, and cello
Vocal Range: B3-G5. Additional transpositions available by request.
Length: 12 minutes
Unlike traditional song cycles, which set poetry, the words for Bye for Now are drawn from saved voicemails from soprano and commissioner Dr. Jessica Saunders’s deceased mother and grandfather, who were instrumental in her development as a musician. She shares: “I wanted a way to honor their memory and I felt that their voicemails really expressed not only their love through every day interactions, but their personalities as well.” The cycle is one of the first (if not the first) major song cycles setting voicemail recordings.
Composer Dr. Lisa Neher used the rhythm and cadence of these recordings to inspire the music. The songs express familial love in day-to-day interactions, mediated through our modern smartphone technology. Distinctly midwestern, they feature references to the landscape, weather, and dialect of the American Heartland. Each song opens with an homage to various ringtones that audience members will recognize. Throughout the cycle, the cello represents Saunders’s grandfather Jerry Miller, whose resonant and melodious speech patterns were captured by the voicemails.
--Jessica Saunders & Lisa Neher
Bye for Now was commissioned and premiered by Dr. Jessica Saunders in 2022.
Texts from saved voicemails from Kari Saunders and Jerry Miller
1. Sunny Sunday
Well I was hoping to have an opportunity to chat with my beautiful young Jessica, Doctor Jessica, and on a Sunday, sunny outside, around 55 degrees, here in the beautiful state of “Misouruh.” But we shall endeavor another time to reach the lovely Jessica. Hope you’re having a good day and, and whatever you’re doing, do it well, whether its resting on the couch or on the bed and listening to beautiful music, or making it. Whatever. Bye for now.
2. Talk to You Later
Hi, I’m just returning your call. Uh…talk to you later. Bye.
3. Tag, You're It
Hi honey we’re on our way over, so um, I guess, tag, you’re it! if you want to talk to me. Otherwise, I’ll see you in a couple of hours. Bye.
4. Call Me Back
Call me back!
That’s a butt dial.
6. Sunday Afternoon Reverie
Well, I’m sorry, I hope I didn’t wake you from a Sunday afternoon reverie. You might be getting your beauty rest, not that you need it, but adding to the beauty that’s already there. And there’s nothing that’s of any immediate attention. I just... it’s a cloudy, cloudy day here. Didn’t know if you were getting snowed in or anything up in Iow-ay. I tried ringing your dad and was unsuccessful in reaching him. So maybe you’re all having a big party somewhere, I don’t know. Anyway. Not necessary to feel that you have to return the call right now. So. I shall try to reach you another time. Bye for now!