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This setting of Antonio Machado's poem is intended as a study in atmospheric textures. Little of the music is loud or dramatic, and much of the writing consists of repetitive patterns sung by the singers independently of each other. Machado, a Spanish poet of the early twentieth century, describes the simple image of a beach at night in summer, with a voice singing in the distance. Over the scene hangs the moon. The setting does not present the entire text, but uses only fragments of the poem. From the text the words 'la luna' (the moon) are heard most often. A solo voice from within the choir sets the scene with the words 'A summer's night on the beach of Sanlucar...'.
Throughout the work a singing bowl sounds in the background, beginning and ending with the single struck note. At times the bowl disappears into the texture and at times it is clearly audible - steady and unvarying.
Commissioned by the choir Choralation from Westlake Girls' and Westlake Boys High Schools and conductor Rowan Johnston
Text from the cycle Hacia Tierra Baja by Antonio Machado
08 Aug 2010: BIG SING National Finale 2010