Caroline Mallonée


The music of composer Caroline Mallonée has been performed throughout the U.S., Netherlands, Wales, England, Iceland, Japan, Italy, and Mexico, as well as on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” broadcast nationwide on American Public Media.

Her works are highly sought after, with commissions by the Firebird Ensemble, Present Music, Ethos Percussion Group, Friends School of Baltimore, pianist John McDonald, and Monadnock Music.  Recently, Shadow Rings, a quartet was commissioned by Antares, and Tomorrow Sharpened for marimba and piano, made possible by a grant from the Fromm Foundation, was written for Haruka Fujii and Erick Huebner and premiered in Tokyo.  In April 2014 her new cello concerto for Feng Hew and the Camerata di Sant’ Antonio was premiered in Buffalo and her newest choral piece, I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail, was read by VocalEssence in St. Paul. Ms. Mallonée’s 2004 ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composers prize-winning quartet Throwing Mountains has been frequently performed by New York-based counter) induction, by the Da Capo Chamber Players, and other ensembles.  Another chamber work, ‘stain, composed in 2002 for pulsoptional, is featured on its debut CD and has been performed throughout the U.S. by Flexible Music.

Each year Ms. Mallonée directs The Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat and teaches at The Walden School Young Musicians Program, both in Dublin, New Hampshire.  Her octet for voice, six instruments, electronics and video, For Paul Signac, written for the Wet Ink Ensemble and inspired by the paintings of Paul Signac, was premiered there in 2009.  Last summer, Ms. Mallonée was composer-in-residence at the Chamber Music Conference of the East at Bennington College in Vermont.

Ms. Mallonée holds a Ph.D. from Duke University, a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Music, a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, and has received a Fulbright award.  Several of her choral pieces, including The Carolers at My Door, are published by Boosey & Hawkes.

Carolina Mallonee finds Google is her Radio Radiance muse

“Because the conception of the Radio Radiance program is based in technology (radio! podcasts!), I wanted to write a piece that had something to do with technology.  I had recently googled “Why are yawns contagious?” and as I was typing the question, Google guessed how I might finish my question.  I was transfixed by the suggestions — these were clearly questions that other people had asked recently — and I began to keep a list of Google’s suggestions.  My piece is called “Search.”  It is in three large sections:  “Why are…?,” “How do…?,” and “Why Is…?”  I wanted to piece to feel contemporary and resonate with the singers.  I hope that it does.

“I was honored to be asked to write for Radio Radiance!  It is a great opportunity for me to work with the dedicated young singers of the YPC, to work with Francisco Núñez, to have a piece performed and broadcast in New York City, and then be shared with other youth choruses around the country.”

More About Search
Search – 4.5 minutes
Three Google Searches for SATB Choir

I. Curiosity (Why are…?)
II. Desperation (How do I? How do you?)
III. Contemplation (I Wonder Why)

“Search was commissioned by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City for Radio Radiance. The text was assembled by the composer from the suggestions Google makes when one types a question word into a search bar. In the piece, various characters emerge, at times curious, desperate and contemplative. Someone wonders why certain things are the way they are (“Why are barns red?”); someone is frustrated with technology (“How do I unlock my iPhone?”); someone asks how to eat different kinds of food (“How do I open a coconut?”); there is a hypochondriac (How do I get jaundice?”); and there is someone asking about love (“How do you know if you love someone?”)…The questions are layered contrapuntally in the first movement (Curiosity). Three different kinds of music are layered on top of one another in the second movement (Desperation), creating a polytonal effect. In this movement, the choir may be divided physically and may be panned on the radio into two different speakers. The close harmonies in this movement are meant to evoke music that might have been heard on the radio in the 1930’s. The third movement (Contemplation) is homophonic.

“I am grateful to Francisco Núñez for the opportunity to write for the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and this piece is dedicated to him and the members of the chorus.”

–Caroline Mallonée, 2014

Search Text

I. Curiosity (Why are…?)
Why are…?
Why are barns red?
Why are manhole covers round?
Why are bugs attracted to light?
Why are flamingoes pink?
Why are some people left-handed?
Why are yawns contagious?
Why are people so mean?
Why are polar molecules asymmetrical?

II. Desperation (How do I? How do you?)
How do I get a passport?
How do I unlock my iPhone?
How do I register to vote?
How do I write a book?
How do I start a blog?
How do I renew my passport?
How do you get freckles?
How do you get dimples?
How do you get dreadlocks?
How do you get lice?
How do you get jaundice?
How do you get hepatitis?
How do you get gout?
How do you get mono?
How do you get shingles?
How do you get ulcers?
How do I improve my credit?
How do you get scabies?
How do I sign up for Netflix?
How do you get ringworm?
How do I vote absentee?
How do you get thrush?
How do I tie a tie?
How do you get pinkeye?
How do I open a coconut?
How do you get warts?
How do you get knighted?
How do you get skintags?
How do you get into the CIA?
How do I multiply fractions? How do you know if you love someone?
How do you get hiccups?
How do I enable cookies?
How do you get lupus?
How do I reset my iPhone? How do I live without you?
How do you get zits?
How do I take a screenshot?
How do you get scurvy?
How do I make French toast? How do I love thee?
How do you get TB?
How do you eat a kumquat?
How do you get cold sores?
How do you get rid of hiccups?
How do you get rid of fruitflies?
How do you get rid of bedbugs? How do I love thee?
How do you?
How do you?

III. Contemplation (I Wonder Why)
Why do cats purr?
Why do dogs howl?
Why do we yawn?
Why do we dream?
Why do people blush?
I wonder why,
I wonder why,
I wonder why.
Why does hair turn grey?
Why is the sky blue?
Why is the ocean salty?
Why is a sunflower yellow?
I wonder why,
I wonder why,
I wonder why.