CHORAL
MUSIC for MIXED/SOLO VOICES

Rhythmic Trident Music
Vancouver, B.C.  Canada
1.604.685.1327                                          info@rhythmictrident.com

Cypress Choral Music
Vancouver, B.C.  Canada
http://cypresschoral.com/                      larrynickel@mac.com


INDEX

Finis (SATB, a cappella)
Will You Fare On, My Song?  (SATB, a cappella)

The House (SATB with piano and optional percussion)
the Tree  - A Treant Love Song from Middle-Earth (SSATBB, a cappella)
Armorel  (SATB with divisi, a cappella)

Song of Invocation (SATB with divisi, a cappella)

for seasons (song cycle for soprano and piano)


ACCESSIBLE REPERTOIRE 

Finis (SATB, a cappella)
Watermark Music Publications, WMP-14003, 2015

A simple yet highly evocative text set in a secular hymn-like structure, contemplative of the End.

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Will You Fare On, My Song?  (SATB, a cappella)     PubLink    SoundCloud
Cypress Choral Music, CP-1592, 2018

Winner of the Choral Canada - Diane Loomer Competition for Choral Writing Award, 2018
Premiere by the National Youth Choir (Jeff Joudrey) July 1, 2018 @ the Basilica, St. John's. NF

Although much of Marjorie’s Pickthall's work reflects timeless aspects of beauty, nature and the ethereal, much of her poetry also lingers obsessively on the subject of death.  Even in these moments, however, she demonstrates sublime artistry and skill to communicate something - dare I say - beautiful.  This poem is one such example.  Here Marjorie struggles with the notion of what will be remembered of her art when she is gone, but I also think it begets a larger question.  She asks, “Will my words and music live on?”, and still on a grander scale, “Will my life spirit be remembered for anything?”, “Will people still speak of me when I’m gone?”, “Will my progeny continue my earthly legacy?”  The word “song” has been purposefully diminished here to the singular for this very purpose, to provide it more breadth and depth of meaning.


MODERATE DIFFICULTY

 

The House (SATB with piano and optional percussion)
manuscript

Marjorie moved to England in 1912, first staying with her Uncle, but later renting Chalke Cottage in Bowerchalke, Wiltshire, with her cousin.  She remained for two consecutive summers until 1920.  The imagery is clearly rural and real, but here The House is a metaphor for the inward spiritual journey of the heart and mind.

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the Tree  - A Treant Love Song from Middle-Earth (SSATBB, a cappella)
manuscript

The text here has been re-imaged as an amorous love song from a Treant to the One Tree. The Treants, as protectors of the great forests of Middle-Earth, appear in the Lord of the Rings sagas of J.R. Tolkien. It is said that they were taught to speak by the Elves, their language spoken without haste, coloured with subtle vowel shades, and typically long winded. Represented here is the single voice of an Ent reverberating as homophonic chords, with unhurried and irregular rhythmic cadences, as it professes its adoration of the One. The poem is repeated in its entirety, the second iteration imbued with an additional ring of texture.

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Armorel  (SATB with divisi, a cappella)
manuscript

It seems credible that this text is fantastically derived from Armorel of Lyonesse: A Romance of To-Day by Walter Besant, a popular novel published in 1890 and may have been read by Marjorie when she was a teenager.  There is also popular conjecture that the name Armorel is of Scottish Gaelic origin, meaning, “one who lives by the sea”, but research by the Academy of Saint Gabriel shows no historical record for the name, nor are they convinced that the phonetic structure suits the Gaelic language.  They do note, however, that the name has been in use in Scotland in the late 19th Century.


CHALLENGING REPERTOIRE and/or REQUIRES EXTRA RESOURCES


Song of Invocation (SATB with divisi, a cappella)   SoundCloud
Watermark Music Publications, WMP-14001, 2014

Winner of NewWorks 2012, DaCapo Chamber Choir, Waterloo, ON

Recorded on NewWorks  (2018) Track 4 - DaCapo Chamber Choir, Waterloo, ON;

 It begins with text from the Lamentations in Latin set to an originally conceived plainsong melody and presented
in both chant and modern notations. It is immediately followed by an a cappella setting of “Song” by Canadian poet Marjorie Pickthall (1883-1922).

Knowing of Marjorie’s deep spirituality and her extensive use of religious symbology throughout her other works, I envision this poem as an expression of one nearing the end of their life and invoking the Creator. I have changed the expression, “sweet heart” to “my love” and capitalized three specific words, Star (God, in the heavens), Rose (God, one with the sacred feminine) and Love (God, Love Divine). 


SOLO VOICE

for seasons (song cycle for soprano and piano)
manuscript

I. Daisy Time (summer)
II. Before a Shower (autumn)
III. November (winter)
IV.  Dawn Song (spring)