* = not yet performed
*From Earth (2017)
Unaccompanied SATB Double Choir, 7'
The original concept for this piece came from my fascination with what the human mouth can produce. If we need to warm our hands after being outside on a cold day, we can. If we need to cool down food that is too hot, we can. With our mouths we can create the two polar opposite things of hot and cold all with just a simple modification of our soft pallet. Choir 1 represents the warmth of summer as Choir 2 makes the noises of summer. Then it switches to Choir 2 representing the coldness of winter as Choir 1 makes the noises of winter. At the end, the two choirs come together representing that even two things so opposite can join as one and make something beautiful.
Text: “In Summer Time” and “A Winter’s Day” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872-1906
When skies are deepest blue above,
And flow’rs aflush, —then most I love
Where forests rustle, tree on tree,
And sing their silent songs to me;
Across the hills and down the narrow ways,
And up the valley where the free winds sweep,
The earth is folded in an ermined sleep
That mocks the melting mirth of myriad Mays.
Just for the joy of being there
And drinking in the summer air,
The birds’ song and the water’s drone,
The humming bee’s low monotone,
The tide beats in my soul so strong
That happiness breaks forth in song,
Departed her disheartening duns and grays,
And all her crusty black is covered deep.
Dark streams are locked in Winter's donjon-keep,
And made to shine with keen, unwonted rays.
Come from the cover with thy blot and blur,
O reeking Earth,
Come from the Earth,
Where pathways meet and pathways part, —
To walk with Nature heart by heart,
Unaccompanied SATB Choir, 4'30"
Text by Christina Rossetti
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
Advanced Unaccompanied Women’s Choir, 6'
Text by Chritina Rossetti
Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.
Oh dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.
Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again tho’ cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.