All Weeping Things

Three songs for SATB choir; 11′ (2004)
poetry: Kenneth Patchen
(commissioned by The Hobart and William Smith Colleges Cantori)

1. The Stars Go to Sleep So Peacefully
2. We Must Be Slow
3. Put the Rest Away, O Put the Rest Away

“We Must Be Slow,” performed by The Hobart and William Smith Colleges Cantori, Dr. Robert Cowles, director:

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composer’s note:

When Bob Cowles first asked me about writing a piece for the Hobart & William Smith Colleges Cantori, I first wanted to know all about this amazing choir, an ensemble that exists for the sole purpose of rehearsing and performing new works of choral music once a year. One of the things I find so moving about the HWS Cantori is the way in which Dr. Cowles takes amateur college singers and works with them so extensively on a single piece of repertoire that they are able to transcend their “amateur college choir” status and create a truly impressive performance.

hqdefaultBecause of that large amount of time the choir was willing to dedicate to my music, I wanted to choose a subject matter that would really speak to college students. So I chose my favorite poet from when I was a college student myself: Kenneth Patchen, whose passionate poetry about the state of the world and the fight against death spoke so vividly to my 18-year-old soul when I first read it. And so this piece, “All Weeping Things,” is about the big questions in life, the kind of subjects it feels good to ponder for a long while. And the music is also big, creating bold dramatic shapes and highly specific text settings that reveal increasing levels of detail the more time one spends with them.

sample page:
All Weeping Things sample