The Future of Life

by Pamela J. Marshall

for SATB chorus, trombone, piano

Duration 30 minutes


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In The Future of Life, the chorus sings a message from Pullitzer Prize winner and famed entomologist and conservation biologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson – the need to preserve the world’s biodiversity.

The eight movements range from a conversation with Henry David Thoreau on the state of the natural world today, a warning and invitation to protect habitat now instead of later in “Pay Mother Her Due”, and a poetic vision of species distribution in “How Spiders Came to Hawaii”. Two additional texts, “Bee-Song” by poet Anne Baring and “Grand Grand Mother is returning” by Judy Grahn, celebrate nature and humanity. The music strikes a balance between warning and hope. Dr. Wilson believes there is hope, if we decide that biodiversity matters to us and we act very soon to protect all of life.

More about The Future of Life

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The composer writes:

“I found deep inspiration in E.O. Wilson’s book The Future of Life. He writes with passion and built-in poetry about a topic that really concerns me. I hope when you hear the music, you will want to get Dr. Wilson’s book and think about these issues.”


Listen to an MP3 of excerpts of the The Future of Life, with The Master Singers, Adam Grossman conducting. Hear all the movements on the Spindrift Listening page.

Additional information

Performing materials

Score, Score & trombone part, permission to duplicate


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