the Body Electric

for Orchestra

Clint Needham

Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

the Body Electric draws its inspiration from great American poet, Walt Whitman?s work "I Sing the
Body Electric." Two years earlier, while writing a setting of Whitman?s Crossing Brooklyn Ferry for
baritone and chamber orchestra, I became enamored with many of the poems from his collection,
"The Leaves of Grass." I had not revisited Whitman?s poetry since high school and that distance
provided a fresh look at Whitman?s poetry. In the spring of 2009, I came back to this collection
and decided to write another work inspired by Whitman?s poetry, this time for chamber orchestra

Writing a work that attempted to capture the mood of this epic poem seemed impossible. Because
of the inherent abstract nature of text-less music, writing a work that was a musical blow-by-blow
of the poem seemed equally impossible. For me, the solution was to take three fragments of the
poem and focus on conveying their particular moods. In the score, I have included the following
lines at the beginning of each section: "the Body electric", "A divine nimbus exhales", and "the Body
at auction."

the Body Electric was written for the 2009 Wellesley College Composers Conference and was
premiered on the final concert of the conference with Jim Baker conducting.

Clint Needham

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Duration 00:09:00
Orchestration 2(dbl. Picc.) 2 2(dbl.B.Cl.) 2 – 2 2 2(B.Tbn.) 0; Timp. 2Perc. Hp. Pno. Str.
Premiere 1st August, 2009. Wellesley Composers Conference Chamber Players, conducted by James Baker. Jewett Arts Center, Wellesley College, MA.

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