Orchard Invisible

Text: Traditional Welsh Proverb. Setting by Meagan Johnson.

A cappella Four-part women’s chorus.

Premiered May 3, 2014 by Amasong, Jill Crandall, music director.

The text of this reflective and hopeful work is a Welsh Proverb: A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.

Imagine a seed in the process of germinating. It looks solitary, dead, but undergoes an amazing, dancing transformation as the first root extends, then the first leaf bursts from the shell. In general, each apple contains five seed pockets. These five pockets lend themselves to the ambiguously-modal pentatonic scale used in the melody and harmonic structure of the first section, the seed in the heart.

The second section reflects the dance of root and branch, as each apple seed holds the potential to grow into a tree – a living system of roots, trunk, branches, leaves – blossoming and fruiting, bearing hundreds of apples a season. Each of that multitude carries five seeds in the heart, an orchard waiting to become. We return to contemplation of the seed – suspended, embraced, full of potential, surrounded by sweetness and nourishment. Each voice part is at times the seed, the branch, or the root.  Relish the unique qualities of each – whether you center around a single pitch through an entire phrase and are “hidden” in the chord, or are challenged by extremes of range, the orchard is made visible in your voice.

Please contact me for perusal scores or to purchase scores for your chorus.

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