Fear (Becoming the Ocean)

Fear (Becoming the Ocean) (a cappella SATB choral, duration 4 mins). Featuring solos for 2 sopranos. Text by Khalil Gibran (Kahlil Gibran)

Times of change can be intimidating; there is something frightening about standing at the foot of the unknown. Behind us lies something we know and recognize, ahead – something daunting, formless, immense. Poets throughout history have written about that moment of hesitation just before a change, when we hold our fragile hopes and look for the courage to confront whatever is to come. Perhaps – like Gibran’s river – we too are more powerful than we think. Perhaps, if we are just brave enough, our hopes too can transform whatever comes.
Written for Choral Arts Initiative, Conductor Brandon Elliott, June 2023


a river trembles with fear.
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
seems nothing more than to disappear.
But there is no other way.
The river cannot go back.
The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean –
only then will the river know
it’s not about disappearing into,
the ocean.

(Khalil Gibran)

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Note on spelling – Khalil v.s. Kahlil Gibran:

Gibran’s family immigrated to the US from an area within modern-day Lebanon when he was a child. As happened far too commonly, his name was misspelled in official documents. Although during his career he did eventually adopt the spelling “Kahlil”, the traditional transliteration of his name is Khalil. Out of respect for his heritage, language and name, Khalil is the spelling I strongly prefer to use (including in the printing of concert programs).

Audio Guides for soprano solos (drawing on Hindustani vocal style)

Soprano solo, mm2 :

Soprano solos, mm78: