- Winner, Professional Category (2018): Ars Nova Singers 7th Annual Colorado Composers Competition (Premiered by this group under Tom Morgan on Apr. 27th, 2018 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Denver, CO).
In recent years, we’ve become more aware as a society that there is not a single, rigidly correct “cookie-cutter” path in life – whether it be in regards to how one lives their life, or even how one should identify themselves. However, there are still many who live day to day in confusion and pain, being told that they are wrong for being “this,” or dedicating their lives to “that.”
The first piece in the set, "Alone," is the initial moment when one realizes they're not like everyone else. When they speak of "the demon in my view," they are referring to an embodiment or manifestation of this difference that has been demonized by a group that considers it "against the grain."
In the second movement, “Hymn,” the questions are asked “Why am I this way?” or “Why can’t I just be like everyone else.” Being constantly berated by corrections – and sometimes even disgust – at who you are can cause so much pain, and this movement is a snapshot of a pinnacle moment of utter hopelessness.
The final piece in this set, "Evening Star," is the moment of acceptance – and pride – of these differences; creating a self-love. Despite the moon being a large and beautiful source of light, it's the Evening Star that "more I admire...than that colder, lowly light."
Edgar Allan Poe had his own moments of this pain and frustration in his life, as many of his contemporaries thought of his poetry and short stories to be quite contrived, unimaginative, and sometimes even simply ridiculous (“who in this century thinks of night as a beautiful thing?”). However, it’s often these “differences” that make beauty abound in the individual, and it’s those who are “different” that really make the world change. When we share these brief moments of despair together, we begin opening a dialogue with each-other (or even ourselves) to explore self-worth. It is my hope that if you’re in one of these transition moments in your life, this music will help you find that inner-peace so you can experience a resoundingly confident self-love.
(ii. Hymn - 3:43)
(iii. Evening Star - 6:40)
See the Score:
Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—
Order the Music:
At morn — at noon — at twilight dim —
Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
In joy and woe — in good and ill —
Mother of God, be with me still!
When the hours flew brightly by,
And not a cloud obscured the sky,
My soul, lest it should truant be,
Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;
Now, when storms of Fate o’ercast
Darkly my Present and my Past,
Let my Future radiant shine
With sweet hopes of thee and thine!
III. Evening Star
’Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro’ the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
‘Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold — too cold for me —
There pass’d, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heart
Is the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light.