Water From Your Spring
Instrumentation: Soprano, flute (alto), clarinet (bass), bassoon, percussion (tom-toms, roto-toms, tenor drum, bass drum, vibraphone, water tam-tam), piano, violin, cello, double bass
I chose six poems by 13th century Persian mystic Jalaluddin Rumi that together tell a story of spiritual transformation. They are set as one extended piece, rather than as a song cycle. Having spent many months studying the poems in Farsi, I discovered the amazing complexity in Rumi’s use of metaphor, and the innate musicality of the Farsi language itself. As I composed the piece I attempted to bring out musically characteristics that didn’t always come through in translation. Water From Your Spring is contemplative and intimate, dynamic and rhythmically vibrant, and rich with orchestral texture and layering. I wanted the voice to be surrounded by sound, rather than accompanied. The soprano part is full of dynamic and expressive contrast, encompasses a wide range, and varies between melodic and chromatic lines. Premiered by the California EAR Unit with soprano Jacqueline Bobak, February 16 & 17, 2001, as part of my Artistic Residency at the Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, CA.