Beyond (Peter Bird)
- Editor: Peter Bird (submitted 2023-08-06). Score information: Letter, 34 pages, 1.39 MB Copyright: CC BY SA
- Edition notes:
First published: 2023
Description: A short choral cantata of 3 songs. Accompanied by oboe and piano. These songs, with texts from three different poets, all express a universal human desire for something more; something magical; something beyond this life.
Original text and translations
1. Further North (Peter Bird, 2022)
The frosty morning air is sharp as wine.
An eagle circles high above the spruce.
The tamarack are golden; green the pines.
A creek somewhere is rushing fast and loose.
It feels like morning in the elder days;
old glaciers fade away, and aspens grow.
The caribou and Dall pass through to graze;
a cabin smokes beyond the river bow.
O further North!
The noisy world will fade away behind,
and leave the aura of eternal things.
A body can grow stronger, and a mind
can harmonize the song the wild bird sings.
At Nordkapp in midsummer, in the gyre,
the midnight sun projects a golden beam
a kittiwake may travel, and a tern.
We cannot leave this rock, but only yearn
to follow over ocean, air, and fire.
2. Wild swans (Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1923)
I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over.
And what did I see I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more;
Nothing to match the flight of wild birds flying.
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans, come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!
3. Finis (Over silent waters...) (Ernest E. Cummings, 1917)
Over silent waters
floods the gentle glory of the sunset
In a golden greeting
splendidly to westward
as pale twilight
comes the last light's gracious exhortation
Lifting up to peace
so when life shall falter
standing on the shores of the
May I behold my sunset
over silent waters