The Work

for SATB choir a cappella

Prach Boodisckulchok

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Composer Prach Boodisckulchok
Year of Composition 2020
Duration ca.5'
Composer

Instrumentation

work_preview

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-pb1tw1

Notes

The Work sets an extract from Rabbi Tarfon’s teaching in Pirkei Avot. With its almost zen-teaching-like contradictory nature, this short sentence invites the listener to contemplate the nature of our life pursuits or work. Sung alongside the English translation, the Hebrew text is set on very long notes, like a cantus firmus in early Renaissance vocal settings. The English, on the other hand, unfolds quickly but in a fragmented manner, gradually revealing the meanings of each phrase, often contradicting itself. The piece culminates in the word libatail and liberty, while the two languages sound almost the same, the music splits into two completely different textures: one joyous and free, and another an intensifying demand or protest.

This piece can be performed by four solo voices as well as by a larger choir.

Commissioned by Blake Meike for Jerry, Sally, Rusty, Annemarie, Mercy and Roger Meike.

Completed on 9 November 2020 with gratitude to Jenna Sherry whose support and ideas contributed to the creation of this piece, and to composers Malcolm Singer and Alastair Putt for their advice.