Partners: 2. Cleaning the Storm Windows

by Pamela J. Marshall

for SATB, piano

Duration 4:30

$4.00$48.00

SKU: 39029 Category: Tags: , ,

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Notes

Poet Sarah Getty inspired me with her blunt observations of people and their behaviors. She wrote about people she loved, as well as herself, with unsentimental but profound insight.

The suite Partners sets three of Sarah’s poems:

  • Troupers – The overwhelming spectacle of a three-ring circus is a prelude to a circus dog’s reflections on being a performer with a long-term connection to its performing partner.
  • Cleaning the Storm Windows – A clumsy comedy occurs when husband and wife try to wash storm windows.
  • That Woman – A subtle exploration of the subconscious connection of a daughter to her mother.

The three pieces of Partners were commissioned by David Getty and The Master Singers of Lexington, MA in memory of poet Sarah Getty, who was a longtime member of the chorus.

About Cleaning the Storm Windows

This piece exhibits the comedy and frustration of a household project too difficult to do well. I’ve certainly failed at getting streak-free windows! Cleaning the Storm Windows lets us into a private moment between wife and husband as they try to wash those darned windows.

The music for Cleaning the Storm Windows is quirky. The tone is set by the opening line “They look like idiots, or the meeting of space aliens”. I can imagine the piano interludes providing space for the window cleaners to do their work. I used lots of text painting, reflecting the meaning of the words in a musical gesture. For example, the musical lines for “palm-out circles” rise and fall in a circular way.  The dialog between husband and wife divides nicely between the men and women of the chorus.

You can read the poem in the downloadable Preview score.

Listen

Cleaning the Storm Windows was premiered in November 2022 by the Master Singers of Lexington, MA.

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