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Tallapoosa Music:




Russell Platt    The New York Observer.

“As the French being French argue decorously over the political, commercial and sexual ramifications of the giraffe’s arrival, Ms. Hays gives them music of a simplicity and charm happily reminiscent of Virgil Thomson.”


.. certain aspects of numerous works made this writer choose the following operas for her Favorites List: Our Giraffe(for the quirky vocalizations of Zarafa and the pleasing lyrical music accented by the harp)



Mark Greenfest  for New Music Connoissuer

“The players' singing, dancing, acting, and buzzing, is a blast. Fantastiks move over. I wish I had a child in tow, but this bee comedy is extremely entertaining for adults. (The dialogue is, but not too, risque.) This company has operatic singers who can do musical comedy. This opera is like no opera I've ever seen-- laugh out loud hilarious-- more fun than Sullivan's or Sondheim's.”



Kyle Gann  Village Voice

"Sorrel Hays's opera "The Glass Woman" portrays six decades in the life of Anna Safley Houston, an antique dealer whose life's collection of precious glass objects is displayed in a museum Chattanooga, Tennessee..Hays co-wrote the lyrics.. and the text-setting is so naturally done that I didn't think about it until afterwards..."Glass Woman" has much in common..with a number of American operas: its theme of a young woman dreaming about a world outside her rural background, its inventive grounding of musical form in rural hymnody and folk song, its confrontation between an embittered woman and society. ..It's high time a work in that vein was written by a woman, and the future of this one is worth keeping an ear out for."


Something (To Do) Doing

Michael Schaefermeyer, FUNK Korrespondenz

Hays’s spoof on American busyness "Something (To Do) Doing", for 15 actors and  scat singer Janet Lawson, was exhibited in the Whitney Museum’s first audio art show in 1990.

".."Etwas Tun" [Something (To Do)  Doing] is an acoustic collage based on Hays's poem "Something (To Do) Doing", on her experience of  Gertrude Stein's dictum that American materialism is based not on possession but on constant activity. Hays dives right into the activity of life itself; she mixes both German and English languages with completely heterogeneous noises, numerous voices for the acoustic salad of various tone colors, for making a hectic tonal foundation which is contrapuntally interwoven with pauses or noises which radiate peace (ship's whistles, bells, cuckoo clocks) appears that the unremitting tumult, overwhelming hectic busyness of noises, voices and word-cascades, is an expression of flight from the horror of being in a vacuum, emptiness. Thus each restless, agitated activity heaped upon yet another activity. "Something (To Do) Doing" works as background to the measured, ponderous reflection on the never-changing "I", producing an impression of happy superficiality and joyful irresponsibility."


Southern Voices for Orchestra  Commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Chattanooga Symphony

Musical America

   "babble of voices at an all day sing on the grounds of a small country church, incorporating a sort of blues fantasy created by seven brief solos by piano and voice...Invoking lazy Southern days, an eerie rattle-like flexatone cutting through the sweetness of the Sunday School atmosphere..spirited and bouyant....recalling with intriguing textures the rhythmic patterns of an auctioneer's chant."



Allan Kozinn   The New York Times

"..most ambitious and varied was Sorrel Hays's "Sound Shadows", a multi-section dance piece that incorporated old-style electronic tape composition, as well as such comparatively new-fangled tachniques as sampling and video....musical materials and voices on the tape track serving as demarcating points. Interesting images emerged along the way. On the tape sections built from children's voices contrasted with others made from conversations with old women. Indian chants wove through parts of the work, and the sections at the beginning and end brought together new-agey synthesizer washes and a lyrical oboe line.

            The dancer, Anita Bodrogi, moved through the work at a deliberate pace, often calling Jules Feiffer cartoons to mind. Since she danced on amplified materials, her movements contributed a brash layer of texture to the work....haunting oboe line and lowing sound of the didjeridu.”

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