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Flower Chant (2023) was commissioned by the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus and sets a text inspired by a line from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1847 poem “Hamatreya,” “the earth laughs in flowers.” I was struck by not only the beauty of this personifying imagery but how it empowers the planet in the fatal equation that is humans’ destruction of it. Whereas Emerson’s poem focuses on humankind’s arrogance and supposed environmental ownership, this poem and piece center the earth’s resilience, fragility, and hope for the future.
Thank you to the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus Treble Ensemble and Alex Canovas, conductor, for premiering Flower Chant and for their dedication to new music for choir.
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