To the Roaring Wind

To the Roaring Wind


for SATB chorus with divisi (5')

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Completed in December, 2013.

Commissioned by NOTUS: Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble & Dominick DiOrio, conductor. World premiere on March 21, 2014 in Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) in New York, NY.

Text: "To the Roaring Wind" by Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

Program Note

Wallace Stevens' "To the Roaring Wind" is severely short and beguilingly ambiguous. In it, the poet listens to the rush of the wind, waiting for words to form, and he delivers the simple command: "Speak."

In my setting of Stevens' poem, I explore the space between wind and word. The choir begins with the sounds of their own breath, and, over time, they find their voices and sing.

To the Roaring Wind is dedicated to Indiana University's NOTUS, a brave and pioneering group of singers, and to Dominick DiOrio, who keeps reaching out into the wild world of silence and asking it for beautiful sound.

Highly evocative... The piece has a directness – almost inevitability – to its linear development, but it is well paced in a way that makes its destination immensely rewarding.
— Knox Sutterfield, Sequenza 21
It is a dramatic and highly effective work that should find a place in the a cappella repertoire.
— Jeffrey Williams, New York Concert Review