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Soprano Solo, Double Mixed Chorus, Orchestra

duration 13'

This work has yet to be premiered

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First Page of Score


I awoke in the center of night. Above my head, beyond the open skylight was the moon -- a vibrant gold -- like the shield of a frightened but determined young warrior.
How still everything seemed how elaborately still
and all I could think of lying there as I bounded from hill to hill was the phrase
"In movement is blessing"
A cloud pulled across the moon. Black radiance. Newborn blind I felt about for my journal and lay there holding it, waiting for the moon to reappear and shed some light.
The ceiling was a grid, hairy with swooping line, muscle another tongue
but not that of language
Wading a shallow pool.... Turning I saw a white horse on
a green field and a red horse on a white field. Unable to choose I lay back and floated, like a bloom in a bowl. The pages of my journal spread a mocking shadow across the calm surface. I stood up. The sky was a bright, unbroken blue. I knew the horse I wanted. I knew as if struck by the point of a ragged spear.
I was not an expert rider but I was no stranger either. Some hopsack was caught in the bush. I covered my horse's back and mounted.
"In movement is blessing"
This phrase, like a musical air, turned in my ear as we rode. I could feel the wind on my neck, naked where I had cropped my hair.
All about was net, above and beneath, closing in as we rode until we could ride no longer. I dismounted and continued on foot. No walls, no planes. Just a network of billowing corridors. They opened onto the enclosed; each equipped with some piece of distraction.
On the screen the performer in the act of dancing embraces the monkey god, the mischievous deity, the slender shade, boy to beast to shackled rose -- something of us all.
The drowned to the risen -- drawn through the tightening net like venom from a wound.
The net dropped, laden with fish, pearls, the cremated leaf...
I had a fleeting impression of my horse being led to an abrupt, official end. I vowed to honor him in a work —something insignificant, eternal.
A white drawing depicting the jilted air. After the departing of birds.

                                     Patti Smith (from Woolgathering,
                                     Hanuman Books, New York, 1992)







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