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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:
SoundClick streaming: First half of Weaving the World
SoundClick streaming: Second half of Weaving the World
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.
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