Singing is to stars…

…asVox Observatory composing is to constellations.

Isn’t it awesome when two of your favorite things get fused together?

In this case, it’s astronomy and choral music.

Last fall I blogged about a Vox Humana concert that took place at the Plaskett Observatory. This is an incredibly unique and inspiring venue for choral music. The choir sang under the dome open to the sky.

Vox Humana returns there this fall… along with a new commissioned work I’m working on right now!

The stellar (hah!) chamber choir led by Brian Wismath will premiere this new music on Friday, September 13 at the observatory. (My inner astronomy nerd jaw just dropped open.)

For the music, I’ve chosen to use some words that are all about the night sky. I’m setting the following text to music for a cappella choir.

The Heart of Night

When all the stars are sown
Across the night-blue space,
With the immense unknown,
In silence face to face.

We stand in speechless awe
While Beauty marches by,
And wonder at the Law
Which wears such majesty.

How small a thing is man
In all that world-sown vast,
That he should hope or plan
Or dream his dream could last!

O doubter of the light,
Confused by fear and wrong,
Lean on the heart of night
And let love make thee strong!

The Good that is the True
Is clothed with Beauty still.
Lo, in their tent of blue,
The stars above the hill!

-Bliss Carman
(Canada’s former Poet Laureate)

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