for SATB chorus with percussion and harp
(performance excerpt from the cantata We Look to the Stars. Duration 17 mins, can be further excerpted as needed.)
“For millennia, the nighttime sky has been a tablet upon which we’ve inscribed our histories. It contains a richness that transcends those visible points of light, with multiple narratives layered atop the same glittering framework.”
For much of human existence, the night sky was such a great mystery that perhaps it’s natural our stories about the stars are as much stories about us as people. We have looked at the stars and seen ways to navigate through sea and over land; we have seen hopes, dreams and inspiration; we have seen love found and love lost; grief and fear; life and death.
It is fascinating how much similarity there is in stories from all around the globe, centuries apart. Myths that began in one place ended up thousands of miles distant, told with different names in different countries; poetic imagery about the stars in one place has hundreds of analogues from other places and other languages. While the words in which we have described our relationship to the stars are as diverse as the people they came from, the stories themselves have overlapping themes, ideas and images.
Four Reflections on the Night, a performance excerpt from the cantata We Look to the Stars, brings together some of these myths, poems and excerpts of prose to celebrate not only the night sky, but also with it the things that unite us in the human experience.