John Supko | USA (b. 1980)

This Window Makes Me Feel (15:13)

music by John Supko
text by Robert Fitterman

Hai-Ting Chinn, mezzo-soprano
Trish McKenna, recitation
Gregory Beyer, percussion
Aaron Jackson, keyboards

THIS WINDOW MAKES ME FEEL was composed in 2005 as part of the requirements for the General Examination in the Music Department of Princeton University. The music, scored for mezzo-soprano, keyboards, percussion and electronics, is a partial setting of Robert Fitterman’s enormous and beautiful poem of the same name. In his work, Fitterman uses the phrase “This window makes me feel” as the basis of hundreds of Google searches in which the results complete the sentence over and over again, creating over time a unique portrait of humanity. Sometimes funny, sometimes mundane, often surprisingly meaningful, the text accumulates a poignancy that I found intriguing. I also saw in it a simple musical structure, with the title phrase acting as a ‘refrain’ and each search result comprising the 'verses.' I applied this structure to the musical setting in which the mezzo-soprano sings “This window makes me feel” continuously in long, slow phrases while a recorded voice whispers the rest of the text.

-- John Supko

Composer John Supko was born in 1980 on Long Island, New York. He holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (BM) and Princeton University (MFA & PhD). He is a recipient of the Fulbright (2002) and Georges Lurcy (2007) fellowships, both for Paris, France, where he studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique. He has won numerous prizes and grants, among them the BMI Student Composer Award, two ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composers Awards (including the 2008 Leo Kaplan Award), the Grand Prize of the National Young Composers Competition, the Perkins Prize of the Princeton University Music Department and a Commissioning Music/USA Meet the Composer commission. His work has been published in collaborative editions with the poet Philippe Denis by Collection Mémoires (Paris) and, most recently, by Harpo & (Marseille).  Current projects include a string quartet for the Ciompi Quartet and an opera on the lives of Paul and Jane Bowles with poet Karren LaLonde Alenier.  In April 2009, John Supko was appointed Assistant Professor of Composition at Duke University. Website:

This Window Makes Me Feel" complete text in /ubu Editions
Robert Fitterman in UbuWeb Film