Everything Sings

Everything Sings (2015)

SATB, piano or string quartet
Commissioned by the Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs for their 35th anniversary

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Note:

After poet Julia Klatt Singer and I talked with the folks at Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs, we knew that we shoud write a piece about the love of singing, but we also knew that there were so many pieces out there that already say it so well. What I love about the poem that Julia wrote is that when she talks about the act of singing, she paints it as something our bodies do in sympathy with the world around us. It makes me think about how everything in the universe is involuntarily vibrating and so it makes sense that we would actively decide to sing, a way of giving our own frequencies to others.

In “Everything Sings,” this idea of musical vibration is shown in a few ways. It most noticeably appears right away in the accompaniment trills, which thread themselves throughout the piece. But there are also moments of trilling in the voices as well as some humming, which allows the singer to more easily sense the vibrations in their sound. The piece ends in a round, embodying the communal nature of singing–the same song moving through one body, then another and another, and finally coming back to everyone singing together.

- Timothy C. Takach, 2015

Text:

How many songs for us to sing?
How many more have we stored away?
Like jars of honey
catching the light, the sweetness
of time and bees, of sun and trees,
of you and of me.

It is the wind that taught us to sing
like the prairie grasses, like the tumbling seas.
It carries our voices; powerful, beauty
carries them like the scent of rain, like the falling leaves.

Everything sings;
crickets and clouds, rake and leaves
water and a spoon
even the moon and the dragonflies
hum their own tune.

My song is my blood
It moves through my body--
Moves through yours too--
Always finding its way
Back to the heart,
to the heart
of me and of you.

 -Commissioned poem by Julia Klatt Singer
 -Used with permission.