SATB with divisi.
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Rabindranath Tagore’s “Fireflies” is a collection of quirky, humorous, wise, and profound aphorisms offering powerful poetic punches. Each mini-poem expresses a world of its own, so I assembled five of these morsels to create a multi-movement musical work illuminating thoughts on life, love, joy, empathy, and beauty. The Iowa All-State Choir is one of the largest in the country, yet is capable of such detailed singing. In creating this work, I wanted to allow the ensemble to find the nuance and uniqueness of character in each movement. Because choral music serves as an important educational tool in the classroom,“Fireflies” can also function as a collection of etudes to develop choral techniques, study compositional devices, inspire in-depth conversations about poetic meaning, and embody diverse emotional landscapes.
I. Living Light
My fancies are fireflies —
specks of living light
twinkling in the dark.
II. The Day Will Break
Let me not grope in vain in the dark
but keep my mind still in the faith
that the day will break
and truth will appear
in its simplicity.
III. The Worm
The worm thinks it strange and foolish
that we do not eat our books.
IV. Love Is An Endless Mystery
Let my love, like sunlight, surround you
and yet give you illuminated freedom,
for love is an endless mystery.
The fireflies, twinkling among the leaves,
make the stars wonder.