Barlow Bradford Publishing
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Series: Signature Secular Series
Format: SATB
Accompaniment: Unaccompanied
Composer:
Donald M. Skirvin
Text: Gordon E. Abshire
Performance time - ca. 10:30

Note: There is a 16-copy minimum for this title.

Movement
Physical or Digital
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"Awakening" exhibits harmonic complexity while maintaining a fundamentally tonal framework. Composed for SATB, the piece features numerous instances of divisi, enriching its harmonic texture. The second movement introduces a tenor soloist, augmenting the SATB ensemble. The focus of the first movement is the joy that comes from finding a kindred soul in a “wilderness of hostile smiles.” The second movement is a healing memory from youth of a night spent in a glade, witness to the mysteries of night, and, finally, the newness of sunrise. In the third movement, the poem expresses hope and desire for a time together that may last a lifetime but which in any case concludes with the image of a bridge to a restful place among leaves and grasses.

Movement I – Across Startled Rain
(Poem title: Untitled - 18)

In a wilderness
Of hostile smiles
Such joy is found
In your solemn eyes

And wisdom sought
In your quiet grace.
Strange and private
Awakening —

Hunger does not toil
Nor sleeplessness
Wake. A day of color
Broken, shadowed

Across startled rain.

Movement II – Finally, Fragrant Dawn
(Poem title: Song for the Wounded Child)

I lie in a glade
At dusk, Queen Anne’s lace
Traced with crystal.

Obsessed with the water snake
Cleaving the silent pond.
What is this place?

Glowing, magenta
In the last moment
Of light’s dominion.

Night’s illusion
Covers
The primal garden.

Spirits breathe
And I’m aloft.
Separated
From my origin.

The lucid moon’s illumination
And, finally, fragrant dawn.

Movement III – Live With Me This Night
(Poem title: Star Fall)

Come with me!
We will walk the track and see the sky
And feel the ties beneath our feet.
In competition with the moon,
The stars will not remember our passing.

Talk with me!
I shall build a tower of words and things:
Your voice will turn it to silver beneath the sky.
We will not walk far, for our steps are short.

Live with me
This night, and watch the bridge brace the banks
Of the stream that crumples silver against the
deepness.

It dreams of a restful place among the leaves and
grasses.

Listen:

Across Startled Rain (Movement 1): 0:05
Finally, Fragrant Dawn (Movement 2) 2:45
Live With Me This Night (Movement 3): 7:18