Please enjoy Zoom, my first official piece as composer-in-residence with San Francisco’s International Orange Chorale. (It’s three-and-a-half minutes long, and there are lyrics in the video description.)
The planned June concerts did not happen, obviously. But I did have a nice Zoom chat with the choir (and two other composers on the program) about the music they had been planning to perform. And in the ensuing conversation I found myself talking about how it can be tough for us as choral composers to write music that really speaks to the moment, because for legal reasons we tend to use public domain text that is, by necessity, old.
As I signed off the call, I thought: well, of course we can always write our own text. I could do that again. But what to write about...?
You never know what's going to bubble up. I must have needed some levity in my life; at a time when everything feels really, super serious, Zoom is not. But there is a genuine message here: we are getting through all of this together, one day at a time. We couldn’t possibly do it alone. So isn’t it really, really amazing that we have some tools to help us carry on with our business and be with our loved ones whenever we want, even if we are far away? My twice-weekly Zoom chats (and online card games) with my brother in Tennessee and my dad in Florida have helped keep me afloat these past seven months. That’s something to sing about. And I’m really lucky to have this amazing choir to do the singing for me.
Hurrah for International Orange Chorale, and hurrah for all of you. Hope everybody’s staying safe in these uncertain times.
Lots of love,