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Jump!

Cover image: Gudella/GL Images

A sonic experience of jumping, falling, and flying!
Commissioned by Northfield Youth Choirs / Elizabeth Shepley
Poet/Lyricist: 
Ray Bradbury

"Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off.  Build your wings on the way down."

Ray Bradbury's pithy and audacious advice creates the backdrop for this sonic experience of a wild leap of faith:  jumping, falling, and flying.  This soundscape gives Bradbury's text to the narrator only, while the chorus parts are built entirely from the phonetic sounds of the word, "jump":  J......juh......uh......um......p!

Elizabeth talks about Jump! on Minnesota Public Radio's "Regional Spotlight"

ORDER MUSIC DIRECTLY FROM SEAFARER PRESS:
Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Price Quantity
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/samples/jump.mp3 SSA, narrator, string quartet - Full Score
4'00" M SEA-090-00 $5.00
Sheet Music
SSA, narrator, string quartet - Choral Part
4'00" M SEA-090-01 $2.75
Sheet Music
SSA, narrator, string quartet - Choral Part
4'00" M SEA-090-01D $2.00
Licensed PDF
SSA, narrator, string quartet - String Parts
4'00" M SEA-090-02 $2.75
Sheet Music
SSA, narrator, string quartet - String Parts
(Click on PDF icon to download parts)
4'00" M SEA-090-02D $0.00
Free PDF

Quote by Ray Bradbury

Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off.  Build your wings on the way down.

Composer's Note: 

The musical parameters given to me by Northfield Youth Chorus were few and open-ended, exactly the kind of commission which offers a composer both structure and freedom: a treble choir, a handful of auxiliary instruments, and the following theme: “To remember and renew.”

I’d been musing about the theme for several weeks before my imagination took off, and when it finally did so, it was on an airplane trip! “What comes between remembrance and renewal?” I was wondering. As I looked down at the clouds from my seat on the plane, I remembered Ray Bradbury’s pithy quote about taking risks: “Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.” Of course, I thought. Leaps of courage! Blind faith! Guts!

In the end, I surprised myself (and the choir!) by not setting Bradbury’s entire quote to music. In fact, the choir only sings the single word, “jump.” Within this tiny word lies a plethora of phonetic possibilities: “j,” “uh,” “um,” and of course, the final “p.”  Using only these vocal building blocks, I created a sonic landscape tracing Bradbury’s journey from solid ground to thin air, as the chorus considers, hesitates, jumps, falls — and finally flies. Yee-haw!

Performers: 

 


Northfield Youth Choirs / Elizabeth Shepley ~ Carlton College (Northfield, MN)   * Premiere

Women's Voices Chorus / Allan Friedman (Chapel Hill, NC)

 

 

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