When Voices Spiral Through the Mind
SATB choir, 4 narrators, and 2 organists
Virtual Premiere by Dr. Allegra Martin and the Holy Cross College Choir
narrators Ryan Clouse, Riley Flint, Meghan O'Keefe, and Natasha Rollo
and organists Michelle Sacco and Matthew Luca on April, 23, 2021
About the Piece
When Voices Spiral Through the Mindwas commissioned by Dr. Allegra Martin and the College of the Holy Cross Choir, and Holy Cross Organ Scholars Michelle Sacco (’21) and Matthew Luca (’22), to be premiered on their concert entitled New American Voices on April 25, 2020.
This piece is about anxiety, what causes it, what has caused it, what will cause it, how it might appear out of nowhere, how it might spiral out of control, how it might be controlled, etc. I especially found it fitting to address this subject in a piece premiered by college students, for whom anxiety levels are particularly high due to many factors, including, but not limited to, academic performance, social interactions, and employment prospects after they graduate. There are three sources of text for the piece, a short untitled poem by American poet Rose Styron, a short poem by Indian poet Sri Chinmoy, and a text that I cobbled together from excerpts drawn from interviews with current and former Holy Cross students, and a handful other people from different stages of life who I have personal relationships with.
Untitled [No One’s Awake]
No one’s awake
but us, and a bird.
The day’s too beautiful
to speak a word.
Copyright 1995 by Rose Styron. “[No one’s awake]” was originally published in By Vineyard Light(Rizzoli International Publications, 1995). Used and reprinted with permission of the author.
21823 from Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 22
The music of the heart
Where the words of the mind
Copyright 2001, by Agni Press. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Contributors to the texts from the interviews include:
Ryan McGough, Siobhan Kiernan, Christine Morrison, Kathryn Santaniello, Tracy Jaskot, Zoé Petit, Emily Bouzan, Peihan Wu, Matthew Jaskot, and many participants who wished to remain anonymous. All interviewees signed waivers that authorized the use of full text or text excerpts from their interviews, and waived all claim to copyright.
Video from premiere: Videographer - Todd Davis; Audio Engineer Brian Saia