The Convergence: Notes on the Plague Year 2020
About this work:
The word "notes" in the title of this piece refers, pardonably, I hope, both to the notes of the music and to notes in the sense of observations. Much of the response of the classical music world to the coronavirus pandemic has involved live streaming of classical repertoire. But composers will surely respond, too, as I seek to do here. (It is early May as I write this.) Thomas Hardy's poem "The Convergence of the Twain" is about the loss of the Titanic in 1912, but its narative forms all too apt a metaphor for the shipwreck of 2020: a collision between human and natural forces that upsets the
order we foolishly thought was secure, a shock wave that rips across the entire globe. The poem, with its reflection on "vaingloriousness," seems especially pertinent to conditions in the United States, where arrogance and ignorance at the top levels of government, led by one vainglorious man, gave the virus a free hand to spread more misery and death than it could do anywhere else on the planet, especially among people of color. So this musical setting is a work of political art as well as a kind of elegy. Composed to be sung by any voice type (whether as written or an octave lower), it may also be recited instead of sung.
Ensemble type: Voice, Solo or With Chamber or Jazz Ensemble:Solo Voice with Keyboard