Instrumentation: SSAATTBB Choir and Piano
Premiered by: The South Bay Chamber Singers (Palos Verdes, CA in 2017)
“Storm’s End” (the second movement of the choral song cycle As Time Stops To Rest) opens with violent and flurried storm-like arpeggios in the piano, in stark contrast to the peaceful character of “Two Friends”. The tenors and basses open with a rigid imitative texture asserting how “the storm raged across the bliss field”. The piano then mimics raindrops falling more and more violently before finally giving way to a calmer texture. After the “storm” has ended, the full choir enters in a mostly homophonic, hymn-like texture describing an overwhelming peace that sometimes follows after an intense tragedy or loss. The piece climaxes on the words “day” and “fire”, alluding to the feeling of being in love with one’s life despite (and perhaps because of) the pain and suffering one has endured.
As Time Stops To Rest is a three-movement song cycle for SSAATTBB Choir and Piano, with featured soprano and tenor soloists. The cycle is dedicated to the composer’s late aunt Susan Jordan. The works sets three poems from a larger set of poetry entitled As Time Stops To Rest, also written by Susan Jordan. The song cycle has an overall arch form of peace followed by tragedy and loss, ultimately giving way to a final sense of peace.
Storm’s End may be performed as part of the song cycle or as a stand-alone piece.
And the storm raged across the bliss field
As the moments of time captured the wind
And bent it, pretending it wouldn’t matter
The sky burned with daytime
And overpowered the night
As the birds flew higher
Almost out of sight
The quiet lingered in the wake
Of the struggle ended
When the pain had gone away
And the child stood
With tears in his eyes
In love with the day
And the wind that won
In love with the fire
Of the sun