Radiant Depth Unfolded

settings of Rumi for soprano, baritone and piano

Anne LeBaron

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settings of Rumi for soprano, baritone and piano

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Composer Anne LeBaron
Year of Composition 2015
Duration -


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Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-alb1rdu1


I’m honored and grateful to have been selected for this year’s Sorel Foundation commission for SongFest, The initial challenge of the commission, finding poetry to work with, was a drawn-out process that pulled me into many different directions, some of which I may return to. But nothing was ringing true until, well into the time I should have been composing, I visited The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles and my eyes fell upon Rumi: The Book of Love – Poems of Ecstasy and Longing. In consulting this collection, along with two volumes of Rumi’s poetry that I already owned, the next challenge I faced in fulfilling this commission was selecting several poems from the ocean of poetic forms and words that poured forth from the steady, mystical discourse that Jalal al-Din Rumi held with a dervish learning community. My choices, snapshots from the vast emotional and spiritual territory explored by this master, include ecstatic, everyday, and esoteric poems. The order of the five poems in this cycle was intended to reflect the fluidity of literary forms generated by Rumi throughout his long and luminous life.

The translator Coleman Barks writes, “Some resonance of ocean resides in everyone. Rumi’s poetry can be felt as a salt breeze from that, traveling inland.” Indeed, Rumi’s poems resonate across cultures, across centuries, and across all those isolating manmade divisions and boundaries, speaking in their own way to each of us and urging a recognition of our common humanity.

Radiant Depth Unfolded was completed while in residence at Copland House, Cortlandt Manor, New York, as a recipient of the Copland House Residency Award.