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The theme of Weaving the World is the contrast between the natural places where our soul finds refuge and peace, and the knowledge of a far-away war and its consequences. The music is joyful, spirited, at times prayerful. Sometimes, it reflects the lively soundscape of a swamp. The celebration of nature’s beauty contrasts with the distant drumbeat of war.
The text by Janisse Ray juxtaposes images about being in the heart of a southern swamp (Okeefenokee, one of her favorite locations), a peaceful and safe refuge, where:
“every night the spiders weave the world back together… Each new-made web shines gossamer in the new sun”
These verses are juxtaposed with words about the mental anguish of war:
“Somewhere/Someone is planning to kill/Someone has been killed/ Someone grieves/Someone hides in fear”
The text ends with optimism and hope: the forces that draw us together are stronger than the forces that pull us apart. It is a spiritual text, but not of a particular religion.
The choral parts are challenging for amateur choirs. It is often tonal with complex harmonies anchored in tonal centers. The melodies are flowing and lyrical and very singable.
A small instrumental ensemble accompanies the chorus: piano, oboe and 2 to 3 percussionists.
The vocal score is 34 pages, not including front matter.
Listen to the premiere performance, streaming hosted at SoundClick:
More about Weaving the World
Read the text by Janisse Ray
Read about the consortium that commissioned Weaving the World.
Buy the full score or examine a preview copy.
Buy the vocal score with rehearsal piano on this page.
Download a free copy of the oboe and percussion parts. Then get a local chorus to play Weaving the World!
Buy a set of performance materials on this page with the “Duplicate for ensemble” option. Get all the instrumental parts: piano performance part, oboe and percussion, and permission to print as many copies as you need for your chorus.