Hear an Excerpt from David T. Little’s Celebrated New Opera Soldier Songs

02/05/2013 10:25 AM |


Soldier Songs by David T. Little, who lives in New Jersey but works out of Brooklyn, had its full-production premiere at the Prototype Festival last month; based on interviews with veterans, the song cycle-as-opera traced the arc of the American military experience, from kids playing with G.I. Joes and teens with video games to the horrors of combat. The most moving moment for me came toward the end with a piece called “Two Marines.” It’s narrated by a parent notified that his son has been killed in combat by a pair of soldiers with a letter from the president (like the movie The Messenger). It begins as a dirge, moves into something more chaotic, with a screeching violin to represent the narrator’s mental state, before settling into a transcendent and devastating repetition: “bring me back my son.”

We thought you should hear this song, too, so we contacted the record company and got them to stream it for you. Performed by Little’s group Newspeak, Soldier Songs is available for download today by Innova Recordings on Amazon and elsewhere; CDs will be available in three weeks.

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