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Jump!

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

"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"

 
 

 

Item Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Audio Peruse Delivery Method (Print vs. Digital) Price Quantity
SEA-090-00 SSA, narrator, string quartet - Conductor's Score
4' M https://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/samples/jump.mp3 Sheet Music $6.00
SEA-090-00DEL SSA, narrator, string quartet - Conductor's Score
4' M https://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/samples/jump.mp3 Licensed PDF $6.00
SEA-090-02F SSA, narrator, string quartet - String Parts
(Click on PDF icon to download part)
4' M Free PDF $0.00
SEA-090-04 SSA, narrator, string quartet - Choral Part
4' M Sheet Music $3.00
SEA-090-04DEL SSA, narrator, string quartet - Choral Part
4' M Licensed PDF $3.00

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: 

Premiere: Northfield Youth Choirs / Elizabeth Shepley. Northfield Arts Guild Beaux Arts Ball (Northfield, MN)
ANIMA Young Singers of Greater Chicago / Emily Ellsworth (Elmhurst, IL)
Ballet Lubbock and West Texas Children's Chorus. (Lubbock, TX)
Northfield Youth Choirs / Elizabeth Shepley (Northfield, MN)
Women's Voices Chorus / Allan Friedman (Durham and Chapel Hill, NC)

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