SONGS OF HOPE IN STRANGE TIMES, a five-movement choral song cycle for SATB Choir & String Quartet, was originally written as a narrative of the COVID-19 pandemic that struck the world in 2020-present, but can also speak to other strange times in our lives when things do not seem to make sense or have a clear meaning. Each movement traces a different part of the pandemic, from the Descent (Mvmt. I) into chaos in the beginning days, the periods of Hibernation (Mvmt. II) retreating to safety and distance, the long period of Stasis (Mvmt. III) waiting for things to change, the slow but hopeful Re-Emergence (Mvmt. IV) as things started to improve, and the triumphant Rising (Mvmt. V) as we returned to life and joy. Each movement presents a way to find hope and meaning in these strange times of our lives, including other situations where normal life doesn’t always make sense.”
I: IN TIMES OF DESCENT (3:30) – commissioned by SACRA/PROFANA directed by Juan Carlos Acosta
II: IN TIMES OF HIBERNATION (3:30) – commissioned by SACRA/PROFANA directed by Juan Carlos Acosta
III: IN TIMES OF STASIS (6:00) – commissioned by Westminster High School directed by Kelly Ann Self
IV: IN TIMES OF RE-EMERGENCE (3:30) – commissioned by SACRA/PROFANA directed by Juan Carlos Acosta
V: IN TIMES OF RISING (5:30) – commissioned by Loyola Marymount University Consort Singers directed by T.J. Harper
The music and lyrics of Songs of Hope in Strange Times: In Times of Stasis was written during the COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020-onwards and was commissioned by Westminster High School, directed by Kelly Ann Self. The overall song cycle is five movements long, with each movement reflecting on how to find hope and meaning during strange and unknown times of life. In Times of Stasis, the third movement of this song cycle, represents the sense of stasis deep in the waiting period of the pandemic. Without being able to observe the normal markers of time passing, such as birthdays, school years, or holidays, time seemed to stand still as each day blended into the next. This sense of moving neither forward nor backward is reminiscent of walking in the ocean tide, where one wave is crashing on shore and another is receding, creating the sense one is simply standing still. While it can be hard to find meaning in these static times, perhaps just being alive and present in this moment is in itself enough.
This movement could be performed as a stand-alone piece or as part of the entire Songs of Hope in Strange Times song cycle.
See other movements:Continue reading In Times of Stasis