NOR EYES, NOR THOU, I KNOW (2012)
MEN'S CHORUS (TTBB)
(excerpt, full recording available on Soundcloud)
WRITTEN FOR: LE CRIS DE PARIS
PREMIERE: 2012-07-12 (PARIS, FRANCE)
Text adapted by the composer from Walt Whitman's "Darest Thou Now, O Soul" from Leaves of Grass.
There is a kind of dreadful beauty about the human voice, in those moments before it becomes language. We hear it in the dull murmurs of sleep, the unintelligible chanting of a hushed crowd, a far off cry in the dark of night. Just as we are about to catch some glimmer of their meaning, they are chased off by quietness — a long, yearning quietness that beckons us to follow. In such quiet, we listen only to ourselves. The echoes of our naked consciousness. Echoes which are at once terrifying, seductive, unrelenting, joyful, mysterious. Full of dreams, yet empty of knowing. Alone to all, but apart from none. All we can do is stare back across the void, in hopes that the sound will return from beyond the horizon. For that is where such utterances live. Beyond comprehension. Beyond significance. There, at the borders of tranquility and oblivion.