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for SATB choir (2020)
Duration: 4'

Just before the start of the pandemic, I was commissioned by the Exultate Chamber Singers to write a piece for mixed chorus.  I chose his poem by the French-Canadian poet and painter, Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau, drawn to it for its flawless ability to connect the imagery of nature with the nature of self and admired its simplistic yet effective use of language:

Dans les champs
Calmes parasols
Sveltes, dans une tranquille élégance
Les ormes sont seuls ou par petites familles.

Les ormes calmes font de l’ombre
Pour les vaches et les chevaux
Qui les entourent à midi.

Ils ne parlent pas
Je ne les ai pas entendus chanter
Ils sont simples
Ils font de l’ombre légère
Pour les bêtes.

In the fields
Calm parasols
Slender, in a quiet elegance
Elms are alone or in small families.

The calm elms cast shade
For cows and horses
That encircle them at noon.

They do not speak
I never heard them sing
They are simple
They cast a light shade
For the beasts.

The piece was premiered by the Exultate Chamber Singers at PODIUM Choral Conference in 2022. Les Ormes can be found on At First Light, Exultate Chamber Singer's 6th studio album, recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio under the guidance of the Gemini-award-winning sound engineer Ron Searles. Editing and mastering was done at Ron's studio, Red Maple Music.

Album At First Light cover.jpeg
00:00 / 03:26

Scores available upon request.

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