22. We sing of the lands
Text: Peter Bird, 2013:
Musicians: SSAATB chorus, a cappella.
Length: 6 minutes
Program notes: This is a lament for all the beatiful but fragile ecosystems that are being lost, one by one, as the Earth gets more overcrowded and overheated. Renaissance composers showed us that a choral lament can be rich in major chords, dignity, and beauty. Of course, they only added extra diatonic notes to their triad chords as unaccented passing tones or as prepared suspensions. Five centuries later, we use pandiatonic chords more freely, for their ambiguity and subtle beauty, and to improve voice leading. Still, we are much indebted to the first masters.
First performance: In the choral workshop, "Stage de Chant Choral" organized by L'Envol of Roquefort-Les-Pins, Alpes-Maritimes, France; July 2014. Under the direction of Vincent Thomas.
Performance suggestions: The director should feel free to adjust dynamics for choral balance, performance space, and their own artistic interpretation. Naturally, the rich chords in this piece will ring better if vibrato is minimized.
shrinking glaciers, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington
Marshmallow from Seattle, 2004
redwood trees in Richardson Grove State Park, California
Miguel Vieira, 2012
leaping sea trout, Devon, England
Rupert Fleetingly, 2008
bull elk in meadow, Montana
Hagerty Ryan, 2013