TWIN SOULS (1997)

for chamber choir and two digital soundtracks

I. THOU AND I (7:18)

II. WE ARE THE STARS WHICH SING (6:44)

texts by Katherine Philips, Jalal al-Din Rumi, R. M. Rilke and Passamaquoddy - Micmac

 

These two choral pieces are arrangements of music from my electroacoustic opera Powers of Two, that explores the symbolism and dynamic tension between various pairs of opposites: the visual and auditory, the real and virtual, male and female, gendered and inverted. At different times in different cultures, the image of "twin souls" has captured some of the same symbolism, whether expressed as an erotic or spiritual desire for union with an "ideal other." The concept takes on added significance when it is understood in terms of same-sex relationships, as is lyrically expressed by such writers as the 17th century English poet Katherine Philips ("the matchless Orinda") in odes to her women friends, or the medieval Sufi mystic Rumi in his passionate praise of the dervish Shams i Tabriz. In our own century, Rilke grappled with the loss of the beloved in his First Duino Elegy, hence a requiem in the first piece for the "too young departed", whether from AIDS or other causes. In the second piece, the transcendant joy derived from a union with the "divine beloved" is expressed again by Philips and in the east coast aboriginal song "We are the stars which sing". The tape part in the work is derived from resonated breath and singing, as well as Pacific Rim percussion sounds.

Score

Twin Souls is available on the Cambridge Street Records CD Twin Souls.


Technical note

The work was realized using the composer's PODX system which incorporates the DMX-1000 Digital Signal Processor controlled by a PDP Micro-11 computer with software for real-time granular synthesis and signal processing developed by the composer in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. The sounds were recorded on 8-track tape and mixed down in the Sonic Research Studio at SFU.

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