Out of Her Place was inspired by the iconic women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony. The first and last stanzas of the text are from speeches she gave at women’s rights conventions; the middle stanza contains lines from her personal letters.
The Driscoll Alphabet for chorus is a set of twenty-six blocks of music, each corresponding to a letter in the English alphabet. It can be performed in two ways:
- The entire alphabet can be performed, A to Z, as written. The duration is about 15 minutes.
- Any of the letters can be performed, in any combination. They need not spell actual words, although this might be a good place to start. (At the first performance, VocalEssence spelled out “Voices of Quiet Joy”, a piece lasting about 7 minutes.)
The text for Keen, Fitful Gusts is a poem by John Keats which illustrates the power of the mind to create a world for itself. Keats describes a traveler, walking a great distance in very bad weather, who is nevertheless content because his mind is filled with poems he has read. The first half of the piece depicts the violent weather and the long journey; the second half, which is gentle and tonal, represents the world inside the traveler’s head.
The text for Ode to a Nightingale is taken from a poem of the same name by John Keats. Writing in the spring of 1819, the twenty-three-year-old Keats had watched his brother die of tuberculosis only a few months earlier and was now ill himself. The poem expresses a love of nature but also a revulsion to the natural world and a desire to escape from it.
Text by John Keats Continue reading