“Our is the sky inside the orb of Heaven, no other. Cupped within our palms our fallow fields sleep-swaddled in blankets of snow and ice while under the earth sleep our dead. Life knows us and hovers above our knees. Trapped in a fear relentless as wild dogs, we can still attempt a crossing. We may sense our own end, but we can still move through these wooded hills, our minds attentive to the contours of the land.”
In composing Ours is the Sky (2015), I used two different but related pitch collections that can be heard in the shimmering chords in the glasses over which the voices are layered. The first collection, heard at the beginning and end of the composition is representative of ‘heaven’ and sky, while the second collection that gradually enters midway through signifies ‘land’, ‘earth’ and sometimes ‘death’. At times these collections are heard separately and at times as a complete set of eight pitches. My intent was to make this suggestive of the complicated yet beautiful relationship between heaven and earth, life and death. Relationships that sometimes move us to speech made of nothing more than a whisper.