SATB choir; 2015; 6'
Written for the University of Redlands Chapel Singers, under the direction of Nicholle Andrews. Premiered at the 2016 California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC) in San Jose, CA by the University of Redlands Chapel Singers.
Work available from the composer, click here for inquiries.
Music with words often comes from a
composer's initial interest in a particular text. For this work,
it began with my love for the sound of the Spanish language being sung
(it is no coincidence that Crumb's Lorca settings have remained in my
ear for so many years). I think Spanish has a beautiful and natural
music that works so effectively for the voice. I came across the
Argentinian poet Leopoldo Lugones' work Himno a la luna while reading
some Spanish-language poetry (and as always, being on the look out for
possible texts to set). The poem is very elegant and evocative
(even in my own crude initial translation), and certain phrases really
impressed themselves on me. I took fragments of the poem-- the
phrases and words that seemed to want to sing-- and arranged them as a
distillation of sorts of the original poem.
The music itself is often hushed, reverent, and closely akin to a kind of imagined sacred music. It serves as a sonic canvas for the various repetitions of the words and phrases taken from the original poem. These repetitions seem at home in a work that is essentially a hymn, as repetition is often an important aspect of sacred rituals.
Luna, quiero cantarte,
O ilustre anciana de las mitologías,
Con todas las fuerzas del arte.
Yo te hablaré con maneras corteses,
Guardaré tu secreto.
Aquella luna deslumbrante.
Moon, I want to sing to you,
O illustrious ancient one of myth,
With all the strengths of art.
I will speak to you with kind manners,
I will guard your secret.
That dazzling moon.
– from Himno a la Luna, Leopoldo Lugones (1874 - 1938)
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