SA(T)B Chorus and Descant
$2.oo per score
About the Work
Escape was written in 2015 for the ACDA Summer Institute in Tacoma, Washington, and was recently performed by Choral Arts Northwest in Seattle, Washington.
In Escape, I chose to focus on the feelings of joy and carefree wonder that a boy experiences while gazing at the stars. The poet, Robert Louis Stevenson, tells a story of a boy who escapes from his room to see the night sky. By musically depicting Stevenson’s portrayal of the stars, my hope was to capture their glorious splendor as seen through the viewpoint of a child’s imagination.
To signify the upward motion of gazing at the starry sky, each stanza begins a half-step higher than the last, and to describe the shimmery quality of the stars, I used quick arpeggiations in the piano, such as on the text “glittered and winked in the dark.” To express the boy’s alarm as he is chased and captured, the tempo accelerates on the text “They saw me at last and they chased me with cries,” with louder dynamics and an almost howling-like quality in the first soprano line. Then, on the text, “And the stars going round in my head,” I repeated a chromatic motive set in canon by the upper voices, while the tenors and basses sing “There were thousands of millions of stars,” to depict the dizzying effect of dancing stars.