The composition of this piece began when I wrote a 16-bar rhyming verse. The next step was to create an ambient soundscape for the verse to call home. Finally, the lyrics were set to a monophonic melody. Around the time I wrote this piece, I was listening to a lot of Chance the Rapper, Hildegard von Bingen, and Brian Eno; make of that what you will. For lyrics, scroll down past the credits.
The premiere performance you hear was given at the National Opera Center on February 4, 2017, by the following musicians:
Hai-Ting Chinn - mezzo-soprano, lyrics
Jeremy Hirsch - bass-baritone, lyrics
Elisa Jablow - soprano, "ah's"
Tomas Cruz - tenor, "ah's"
Mila Henry - piano
Marina Kifferstein - violin
Lavinia Pavlish - violin
Leah Asher - viola
Meaghan Burke - cello
Keep calm, carry on and have faith in God, not
mine or the pope's but this little light of your heart, the
one you ask for miracles, the mother of existence, or
just the imagined voice you wouldn't mind if it really existed, 'cause
freedom is in peril you gotta fight for everyones right to de-
fend with all your might civil rights and get enlightened to the
battle-tested spirits of your ancestors inside you. Feel the di-
vinity of the human condition, and be able you just might, to
get inspired, use that anger, get whipped up like a hurricane,
swirling in worldly phases, the pains beat back by parents' praises.
Loving siblings, mentors, friends, and pets that helped to keep you sane; what-
ever you got, you got a lot, don't let anyone tell you you do not 'cause
chances are the people that say it, trying to take the remainder for personal payment;
Kleptocrats, fascists, whatever you want to name it.
Don't believe the disbelievers plebeian pleas for hatred. Hang
on to each other sing and dance and remember all love is special but survival made it.