The Lighthouse Keeper


 
22:00 – SATB choir with divisi, piano, strings

Orchestral Parts Rental (full & choral scores not included in rental):
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THE STORY

“The Lighthouse Keeper” is a series of vignettes capturing a life journey of joy, beauty, loss, and renewal. From a friend's death on Middle Palisade Peak in the Sierra Nevada mountains, to the excitement of a roadtrip to Joshua Tree National Park, to a magical midnight swim in the Spanish Mediterranean, to the loss of a loved one spiraling into depression and despair at Point Reyes National Seashore, to celebrating new beginnings at Yosemite National Park, this work is a deeply personal, yet powerfully universal expression of a life shared in friendship. "The Lighthouse Keeper" reminds that all we really have, when all is said and done, is each other.

 
 

INSTRUMENTATION
SATB choir with divisi, piano, strings (at least 2.2.2.2.1)

DURATION
22:00

PREMIERE
March 15, 2024. CSULB Bob Cole Chamber Choir. Jonathan Talberg, conductor.

TEXT

The Lighthouse Keeper
 
I. Carve An Endless Moment (Middle Palisade)

If I watch the time, some of my friends will die,
If I watch the time, I shall surely die myself.

Let me then gather all my friends around me
And carve an endless moment out of stone.

- Witter Bynner (adapt. Runestad)

 
 
II. Shifting Sand (Joshua Tree)

As I gaze, these narrow walls expand,
The desert stretches with its shifting sand;
Before my dreamy eye,
Its unimpeded sky.

And onward and onward, across the setting sun,
The column and its broader shadow run
Across the boundless plain,
Till thought pursues in vain.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (adapt. Runestad)

 
 
III. Beauty Is Life (Mediterranean, Medianoche)

Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

- Kahlil Gibran

 
 
IV. The Lighthouse Keeper (Point Reyes)

The thickening fog, clouding your sight.
The wicked sea, tossing your boat.
My reaching light, calling you home.

The darkening sea, pulling you under.
Your broken boat.
Your battered heart.
My yearning light, calling, calling, calling...

- Jake Runestad

 
 
V. Mariposa (Yosemite)

Butterflies are white and blue
In this field we wander through.
Suffer me to take your hand.
Death comes in a day or two.

All the things we ever knew
Will be ashes in that hour,
Mark the transient butterfly,
How he hangs upon the flower.

Suffer me to take your hand.
Suffer me to cherish you
Till the dawn is in the sky.
Whether I be false or true,
Death comes in a day or two.

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

 
 

1 review for The Lighthouse Keeper

  1. Jacob Boland

    One of the masterpieces of this generation. I had the honour of witnessing this majesty in person. This piece is life altering to say the least. Words cannot adequately describe the utter beauty, pain, and passion this piece unveils!

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