Let Me Speak


Let Me Speak (2018), for clarinet, duration 8 minutes, premiered by Alex South, at Soundthought Glasgow, 17 November 2018. The piece was commissioned by Glasgow New Music Expedition.


Let me speak.

I am here, real, flesh, blood,
Bones, teeth, throat, tongue.
I am consonant, guttural, plosive.
I have vowels, howls, growls.
I will make any noise I can.

Give me space, place, voice.
I sound, stammer, slur.


I could tell you stories, a myth
But when I speak I blurt out truth
And it hurts, harms, heals
And sometimes it feels good.

Let me speak.

I am hoarse, coarse, worse for wear.
I swear, blast, curse, lambast.
I cry out from a sore place
A creak, squeak, shriek.
I will use any voice I have.

Give me a nod, a thumb, an aye
And I'll swing the syllables
Sky high.

I've been tired, down, alone,
Word empty, utterly numb.
But voice will find a way,
Even my sigh has something to say.