by sTem

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Lieder/Canciones features performances by:

Meagan Amelia Brus, Voice
Eric Christian Umble, Clarinet
Sophia Subbaya Vastek, Piano

With Lieder/Canciones, sTem honors the old, explores the new, and reimagines what’s in between. Schubert’s oft-performed and recorded Der Hirt auf dem Felsen serves as inspiration for interpreting new works by living composers and our new collaborations give us fresh insight into the standard repertoire. Our debut album serves as the first and definitive recording of sTem’s original commissions by Rex Isenberg and Giovanni Piacentini, along with sTem’s original arrangement of Daniel Catán’s aria, Escúchame.


released September 1, 2016

Recorded at Dubway Studios
Recorded and Mastered by Chris Abell
Mixed by Chris Camilleri
Album design by Esme Jackson

Special thanks to:
All our Indiegogo supporters
Rex Isenberg
Gio Piacentini
Fausto Alzati
Tayla Nebesky
Izzy Gleicher
Mic Herring
Gerad O’Shea
Sam Torres
Andrea Puente
Juan Pablo Contreras
Associated Music Publishers, Inc. (BMI)



all rights reserved


sTem New York, New York

sTem champions the aural and theatrical possibilities of vocal chamber music through dramatic performances, innovative commissions, and community outreach.

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Track Name: REX ISENBERG: Das Stunden-Buch (2013), I. Ich lebe grad
I. Ich lebe grad (I live between)

I live at the edge of the century.
One can feel the wind from a great page,
on which God and you and I have written,
that turns high above in foreign hands.
One can feel the radiance of the new leaf,
on which anything still can be.
The silent forces test its breadth
and stare at each other darkly.
Track Name: REX ISENBERG: Das Stunden-Buch (2013), II. Mein Leben
II. Mein Leben (My life)

My life is not this steep hour
through which you see me hurrying.
I am a tree standing before my background,
I am only one of many mouths,
and truly, the one that is the first to close.

I am the space between two tones
which, together, sound badly:
for the note wants death –

But in the dark interval they are reconciled,
and tremble together.
And the song stays beautiful.
Track Name: REX ISENBERG: Das Stunden-Buch (2013), III. Ich bin, du Ängstlicher
III. Ich bin, du Ängstlicher (I am, you anxious one)

I am, you anxious one. Don’t you hear me
surging against you with all my senses?
My feelings, which have found wings,
circle white around your face.
Can’t you see my soul
standing before you clothed in silence?
Doesn’t my springtime prayer
ripen in your glance like on a tree?
If you are a dreamer, I am your dream.
But if you want to be awake, I am your will
and become the master of all glory
and patrol like a star-silence
over the whimsical city of time.
Track Name: REX ISENBERG: Das Stunden-Buch (2013), IV. O Herr
IV. O Herr! (O Lord!)

O Lord, give us each our own death.
The dying, that comes from life,
in which we possessed love, meaning, and need.
Track Name: FRANZ SCHUBERT: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D. 965 (1828)
Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D. 965
(Shepherd on the Rock)

by Franz Schubert (Wilhelm Müller and Karl August Varnhagen von Ense)

When, from the highest rock up here,
I look deep down into the valley,
And sing,

Far from the valley dark and deep
Echoes rush through, upward and back to me,
The chasm.

The farther that my voice resounds,
So much the brighter it echos
From under.

My sweetheart dwells so far from me,
I hotly long to be with her
Over there.

I am consumed in misery,
Happiness is far from me,
Hope has on earth eluded me,
I am so lonesome here.

So longingly did sound the song,
So longingly through wood and night,
Towards heaven it draws all hearts
With amazing strength.

The Springtime will come,
The Springtime, my happiness,
Now must I make ready
To wander forth.
Track Name: GIOVANNI PIACENTINI: Preludio de un Diamante (2014), I. Apenas
I. Apenas (Barely)

We were barely
A scream,
the densest of darkness
a scream
generous in its violence
virulent, fragile
fierce confetti
We were barely
The edge of a footprint
The lining of a sea star,
A tiny eyelash
in an abandoned lot barely,
the prelude of a diamond,
rainbow of oil spilt on the pavement,
a defying squeal, an alibi, a stagger
Track Name: GIOVANNI PIACENTINI: Preludio de un Diamante (2014), II. Sala de Espera Adios
II. “Sala de Espera a Dios” (“Waiting Room for God”)

I am the boy who doesn’t know the abyss
He who heard the voice of the devil
He who could picture him in “blue-ray” detail
I am he who renounced the throne
It so happens that I preferred to dance with the hopeless on New Years
And read the Bibles in no order
I am the boy who is no longer
He who became a lion on the hill
I am he who is no longer a boy
I am just a man
And yes, she
She is my woman
Track Name: GIOVANNI PIACENTINI: Preludio de un Diamante (2014), III. Fiebre
III. Fiebre (Fever)

She sprang in me the most broken and improbable flower
Mud of foreign words
Cumulous of an opaque story
The terror, like a loathing in the bronchi
And its thorns pierce through my lung
She sprang inadvertently
Always announced by breaths
Its riverbed, at the end of the delirium from the loss of spinning suns
I have cried again and again
Each time older and clumsier
But to recover the humor,
One must stop being the joke.
Track Name: DANIEL CATÁN: Escúchame (from Florencia en el Amazonas) (1996)
“Escúchame” from Florencia en el Amazonas

by Daniel Catán (Marcela Fuentes-Berain)

Where are you Cristóbal?
Did I come all this way just to lose you again?
Has the voracious jungle ripped you away from me once more?
Why do I feel you near?
Cristóbal, Cristóbal. I feel you near.
Hear me. Hear me.
My voice soars toward you like a bird
and it spreads its wings over the world's love.
From you, my song was born,
from within your hands,
which asleep and awake, will bring butterflies.
I know you are hearing me because my song soars.
If you did not hear it, my voice would not fly.
From you my song was born,
because of you, I was able to cross
the tumultuous river of the days
or the serene river of the nights.
And there, on the other bank,
stop to listen
to its own loving murmur.
I know you can hear me in life or in death.
If you were not listening,
my song would not resound.
I feel you palpitate in the wings of every butterfly,
in every green sparkle,
in the wind, the water,
in the depths of the jungle,
in life or in death, I feel you palpitate!
In the flight of my song,
in the gentle air,
I feel you in the air…
Cristóbal! Cristóbal!
I feel your heart beat!
In the gentle air of my song!
I feel you in the air,
I feel you Cristóbal!
I feel you here, here,
here in my song.