Lyrics - by Bryan Kerwin I split the moon in half, then in thirds. now there are six moons, and haven't you always wanted to see six moons? If you get tired of them we can feed them to the babies and call them moon chips, or eat them ourselves because we don't have any babies. but we can make bad jokes about our new creations, like when I feign anger and yell at your face: "One of these days Alice, Kapowee! Straight to the moonS!" Or huddle close to the fire and chat with the balloon animals. "wanna see something?" the gorilla asks you and I pop him with a thumbtack, his former flirtatious plastic settling down through the air like a feather underneath the moons, our moons, six of them. I'll divide them even more if you like shape them into slits or squares or mazes of moon cheese, put them back together and draw a new face on it, because that old one's been there thousands or millions of years and he's starting to look tired of smiling. Or extinguish the whole thing so the night's always as black as closing your eyes, like waking up cold in a tent, both of us stuffed into one sleeping bag, I'm chewing on your hair, and the fire's gone out. it doesn't matter either way.
FORECAST SSAATTBB a cappella | 6 mins Skill level: Advanced (college, semi-pro or pro choir) Style: Playful and magical; narratively driven, with expressive range [SCORE COMING SOON]
FORECAST is a setting of three existential limericks and two weather forecasts which highlights the random and mysterious nature of the universe...
The piece was developed during Choral Chameleon's Summer Institute in 2012, and had its world premiere on 30 October 2014 at The Church of Notre Dame in New York City, performed by Ghostlight Chorus and conducted by Dr. Evelyn Troester DeGraf.
Lyrics - by Edward Lear and two weather forecasts
There was an Old Man of the Hague, Whose ideas were excessively vague; He built a balloon To examine the moon, That deluded Old Man of the Hague!
This afternoon...sunny and windy. Temperatures in the mid to low sixties. Winds up to ten to fifteen miles per hour.
There was an Old Man who said 'Well! Will nobody answer this bell? I have pulled day and night, til my hair has grown white, But nobody answers this bell!'
Tonight...mostly cloudy. Temperatures in the mid to low forties. Winds up to 65 miles per hour. There was a Young Lady of Sweden, Who went by the slow train to Weedon; When they cried, "Weedon Station!" she made no observation, But thought she should go back to Sweden.
THE FIRE CYCLE SATB a cappella | 5 mins Skill level: Intermediate (adv. high school, college, community) Style: Driving and Funky, with rhythmic energy - tense, with some edge Published by See-A-Dot Music
THE FIRE CYCLE is an energetic and wild ride through an imaginative and emotionally evocative narrative. The rapid text flies by in a series of metric changes, images of an apocalyptic world in and outer world on fire. It is a story of rebirth through destruction...but ultimately a story of love.
The piece had its world premiere on 24 May 2019 at LP Studios in Glendale, CA, performed by The Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles (C3LA), conducted by David Conley. It is published by See-A-Dot Music.
There are trees and they are on fire. There are hummingbirds and they are on fire. There are graves and they are on fire and the things coming out of the graves are on fire. The house you grew up in is on fire. There is a gigantic trebuchet on fire on the edge of a crater and the crater is on fire. There is a complex system of tunnels deep underneath the surface with only one entrance and one exit and the entire system is filled with fire. There is a wooden cage we’re trapped in, too large to see, and it is on fire. There are jaguars on fire. Wolves. Spiders. Wolf-spiders on fire. If there were people. If our fathers were alive. If we had a daughter. Fire to the edges. Fire in the river beds. Fire between the mattresses of the bed you were born in. Fire in your mother’s belly. There is a little boy wearing a fire shirt holding a baby lamb. There is a little girl in a fire skirt asking if she can ride the baby lamb like a horse. There is you on top of me with thighs of fire while a hot red fog hovers in your hair. There is me on top of you wearing a fire shirt and then pulling the fire shirt over my head and tossing it like a fireball through the fog at a new kind of dinosaur. There are meteorites disintegrating in the atmosphere just a few thousand feet above us and tiny fireballs are falling down around us, pooling around us, forming a kind of fire lake which then forms a kind of fire cloud. There is this feeling I get when I am with you. There is our future house burning like a star on the hill. There is our dark flickering shadow. There is my hand on fire in your hand on fire, my body on fire above your body on fire, our tongues made of ash. We are rocks on a distant and uninhabitable planet. We have our whole life ahead of us.
BALOO BALEERIE is an arrangement of a very old lullaby, thought to have originated in Bressay (Shetland) near Northern Scotland.
Written during the global pandemic of COVID-19, this work had its world premiere on 9 August 2020 online during a live-streamed church service at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in the Pacific Palisades, CA.
LIP SERVICE SSAATTBB a cappella | 10 mins Skill level: Advanced (college, semi-pro or pro choir) Style: Sparse and distant, minimal - tense, with some edge Published by See-A-Dot Music
LIP SERVICE was conceptualized and commissioned by multi-disciplinary artist Jimena Sarno for From Sea to Shining Sea, a sound, video and sculpture installation, part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA arts Festival. www.jimenasarno.com This site-specific work was first performed on September 9, 2017 within Battery 127 at White Point Nature Preserve in San Pedro, California. The Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles (C3LA) was conducted by Dr. Alexandra Grabarchuk.
There are two overarching organizing patterns in LIP SERVICE: the mechanical processes of firing a missile in parallel to the temporality determined by the criminalization of immigrants and its holding patterns—waiting in indefinite detention, suspense and immobility. The piece isolates and reorganizes selected musical and linguistic elements from the classic anthem "America the Beautiful" in patterns and combinations in which language never fully forms. The anthem is further presented via fractured rhythms rather than being treated lyrically or melodically.
Lyrics - Katharine Lee Bates Select syllables and stanzas from America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates
Verse 1, 2, 3 and title, 1911 version: by[u] (of "beautiful") Verse 1: th[I] (of "God shed his grace on thee") Verse 1, 2, 3: [o] (of "O") Verse 2: liber / ating (of "liberating strife") Verse 1, 2, 3: foe (first syllable of "for spacious skies") Verse 3: con (of "self-control") Verse 2, from 1904 and 1911 versions: God mend thine every flaw Verse 3, from 1895 only: Till selfish gain no longer stain Verse 4, from 1895, 1904, 1911: Undimmed by human tears!
IN PARADISUM (ARR.) SSAATTBB a cappella | 3 mins Skill level: Intermediate (adv. high school, college, community) Style: Sacred, with a cinematic feel; large expressive range PURCHASE THE SCORE
IN PARADISUM (Into Paradise) is an interpretation of the rollercoaster of emotions one can feel during a funeral or memorial service.
Written during the global pandemic of COVID-19, this piece had its world premiere on 12 December 2020 during an online live-streamed concert. It was recorded by members of The Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles (C3LA), and featured live shadow puppetry designed and performed by Miranda Kahn.
In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem. Chorus Angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem.
May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once poor, may you have eternal rest.
THAT HOLY DREAM SATB a cappella | 2.5 mins Skill level: Intermediate (adv. high school, college, community) Style: Slow and expressive, with a mournful tone [SCORE COMING SOON]
THAT HOLY DREAM is a setting of Edgar Allan Poe's "A Dream", in which the narrator contemplates whether a nightmare is more favorable than a joyous daydream, believing the daydream would never be fully realized. The music wavers between major and minor modes, accentuating the protagonist's comparisons.
The piece had its world premiere on 16 March 2019 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Monrovia, CA, performed by San Gabriel Valley Choral Company, conducted by David Rentz.