Psalm 49

Written in 2014

for Soprano, Clarinet, and Piano

I. All Peoples

II. English

III. Latin

IV. Spanish

V. Melanesian Pidgin

Duration: 16:30 min.

Program Notes:

When conceiving of this song cycle, I wanted to set a Psalm that addressed everyone on earth and use that as a platform for exploring writing in multiple languages within one piece. Psalm 49 fulfilled that requirement, and its structure also allowed for natural divisions between songs. The first song introduces the song cycle, using fragments of nine translations of the Bible to call people from everywhere to listen. The languages used include Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, German, Melanesian Pidgin, Chinese, Yoruba, and Spanish. The subsequent four songs are set in English, Latin, Spanish, and Melanesian Pidgin, which further explores the idea of the demographic disparity between the people being called to listen. People speaking these languages lived at different times, have different social standing in the world, and have received God's word in their own language at different times, but all are called to listen.

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