may i feel said he

Program Notes
"may i feel said he" was composed at the request of my good friend Craig Hultgren for performance on his electric cello. The piece utilizes ambient sounds, loops and the amplified voice of the cellist.

The poem, by E. E. Cummings, is a sing-song rhyme between a male and a female, each line ending with either “said he” or “said she”. What at first appears to be an innocent exchange between two adolescents is quickly turn on its head with the line “but your wife said she”, when we see that this conversation is not innocent, rather quite inappropriate. The climax of the poem comes in the last line, much in the style of a shocking Hollywood ending, when it is revealed that the woman, not the man, is the seducer with the words “(you are Mine said she)”.

The poem is a commentary on the struggle between the libido-driven man and the industrious woman. Both parties want something, and both achieve their goals; the man receives his desired reward of intercourse and the woman usurps the man’s false sense of control.

Biographical Sketch
Bryan Page received degrees from the University of Montevallo and Westminster Choir College. His music has been heard in Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, Chicago & Los Angeles and throughout the southeast. He has received commissions from The U.S. Army Trumpet Ensemble, the UAB Trumpet Ensemble, Metropolis Ensemble of New York City and ACM in Chicago. FIRST LIGHT for trumpet ensemble is published by Triplo Press. Bryan is Director of Music Ministry at Covenant Presbyterian Church and part-time lecturer at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. He and his wife Suzanne have two children, Jack and Sarah Frances.

Performer Biographical Sketch
Cellist Craig Hultgren is an activist for new music, the newly creative arts, and the avant-garde. Possessing a broad range of instrumental techniques from traditional to radical, he has had over 100 new works written for him. Through his collaborations with living composers, he is changing the way people write for and listen to the instrument. Besides playing written compositions, Hultgren also performs his own spontaneous, free-style improvisations. Over the last couple of seasons, he has performed in Rome, Boston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Miami, Atlanta, Orlando, Denver, Memphis and San Antonio.
Hultgren has solo CD recordings on Minnesota-based Innova Recordings and Contemplative Outreach Birmingham. His third solo recording, The Electro-Acoustic Cello Book, featuring new music for cello and electronics was released on Living Artist Recordings. The Alabama State Council on the Arts has awarded him two individual Artist Fellowships. He is a member of Luna Nova whose numerous live recordings are available as free podcast downloads from iTunes.
As a traditionally trained artist, Hultgren possesses music degrees in performance from the University of Iowa where he was graduated with distinction and honors and from Indiana University, the world’s largest school of music. He plays in the Alabama Symphony and has served as principal cellist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Panamá. He teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Alabama School of Fine Arts and Birmingham-Southern College where he directs the BSC New Music Ensemble.
Hultgren also works in the behalf of arts as an organizer. He was a founding member of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, a composers’ organization. He has served as President of both the Alliance and the Birmingham Art Association, where he instituted Birmingham Improv, an international festival of improvisation. He is an original member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Central Alabama, which has instituted an innovative program called Scrollworks that provides free music instruction to in-need, inner-city young people.