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Strong Braid (Movement V. from Kindling)

"Girl with Dandelion" by Emily Roe

emily-roe.blogspot.com

A rhapsodic salute to Faith's invaluable companions: Science and Reason
Commissioned by First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston
Poet/Lyricist: 
Elizabeth Alexander

Strong Braid is an exuberant paean to two entities rarely celebrated in music: Science and Reason. For as prosaic as this pair may often seem, they serve as invaluable companions to Faith, keeping her safe and grounded, much like a reliable string does for an airbourne kite. Nothing is held back in this breathtaking rhapsody, lavishly layered with vocal glissandos and piano arpeggios.

The fifth movement of Kindling: Small Reflections on a Limitless Faith, Strong Braid may be performed as a stand-alone piece.

* Note: The Choral Score is designed to be used with chamber ensemble performances as well as those accompanied only by piano. For all chamber ensemble performances, the conductor should use the Conductor's Score of the complete work (SEA-123-00).

ORDER MUSIC DIRECTLY FROM SEAFARER PRESS:
Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Price Quantity
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-kindling-1-first_touch.mp3 SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet - Conductor's Score
Complete multi-movement work. Oversized legal-sized score, coil-bound with cardstock cover
25'00" MA SEA-123-00 $30.00
Sheet Music
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-kindling-1-first_touch.mp3 SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet - Conductor's Score
Complete multi-movement work. Oversized legal-sized score
25'00" MA SEA-123-00D $18.00
Licensed PDF
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-kindling-5-strong_braid.mp3 SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet OR SATB, piano - Choral Part OR Choral Score - Individual Movement
Individual Movement
4'00" MA SEA-123-05 $3.50
Sheet Music
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-kindling-5-strong_braid.mp3 SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet OR SATB, piano - Choral Part OR Choral Score - Individual Movement
Individual Movement
4'00" MA SEA-123-05D $2.25
Licensed PDF
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-kindling-1-first_touch.mp3 SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet OR SATB, piano - Choral Part OR Choral Score - Complete Work
Complete multi-movement work. Coil-bound with cardstock cover
25'00" MA SEA-123-09 $15.00
Sheet Music
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-kindling-1-first_touch.mp3 SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet OR SATB, piano - Choral Part OR Choral Score - Complete Work
Complete multi-movement work
25'00" MA SEA-123-09D $9.00
Licensed PDF

Strong Braid

Elizabeth Alexander

Aloft in the heady air of faith,
Our senses heightened by incense and ether,
We may from time to time become ecstatic paper kites.

We dive and keel and rocket,
Riding each wayward gust with abandon,
Recklessly aspiring to Auroral heights —

Yet knowing all the while that we are safe,
Tethered to the ground by a strong braid, a steady hand,
And a mind that appraises the wind.

Composer's Note: 

"It was a challenge for me to get a handle on this movement, because I had to face my own aversion to the somewhat academic word “humanism.” This is mind-bogglingly ironic, because I sincerely value rational thought. After many failed attempts, I was saved by a metaphor – that faith is an ecstatic kite, and humanism is the string which anchors faith to the ground. By keeping faith in its proper sphere, humanism enables faith to thrive and serve in a healthy way! I was suddenly and inexplicably elated by this way of seeing things, imagining vast throngs of humanists, protecting religion from the self-serving dogmas which inevitably creep into unquestioned schools of thought.. (I walked around for several days shouting “humanism rocks!”)" -EA

Performers: 

SATB, flute, horn, string quartet:
Choir of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston / Jason Oby (Houston, TX) * Premiere
Choir of Arlington Street Church / Mark Buckles (Boston, MA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Atlanta / Donald Milton III (Atlanta, GA)

SATB, piano:
Choir of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Rochester, MN / Joseph Mish

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