The Sun Rises in Spite of Everything (2023)
For choir (SATB divisi.) and piano
Composed for the Delaware Choral Scholars
First performance tba
Text: Wendell Berry, Derek Mahon
Duration: 14 minutes
The Sun Rises in Spite of Everything
Two Songs for a Brighter World
i. The Peace of wild Things (c.8 minutes)
ii. Everything is Going to Be All Right (c.5 minutes)
The Sun Rises in Spite of Everything is a choral cycle in two movements, drawing from the poetry of Wendell Berry and Derek Mahon. The first movement, The Peace of Wild Things is cyclic, based on a repeated, hypnotic piano fragment, whilst the second movement Everything is Going to Be All Right, envelops listeners in a sense of comfort and hope. The latter movement is marked by sweeping melodies and a rich piano accompaniment. The cycle is a testament to resilience and optimism in the face of adversity.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Everything is Going to be All Right
How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.