I am super excited to announce that I have officially finished and uploaded all three movements of Semper Solus In Turba. Each movement can be performed separately or as a whole. Each is set for SSAATTBB a cappella choir. I'd like to share with you what I wrote in the notes at the front of each piece.
Semper Solus In Turba - This is a motto I came up with for myself in 2016 which translates to "Always Alone in a Crowd." I feel this way a lot - the feeling of being an outsider or lonely, even in the midst of a large group of people. As I thought more about this motto, I came to realize that it means a lot more than that. All of us have those qualities about us that make us unique in a crowd. Semper Solus In Turba therefore became a celebration of our individuality. Be proud of who you are and embrace what makes you...you!
I. Semper - Always - In this turbulent world, the idea that something can be constant is somehow reassuring. I began with a steady, slow, strong heartbeat which is the most fundamental constant in the world. As I looked for a poem to use for the soloist, I kept running into poems that used the word "always" - always faithful, always strong, always committed, etc. I finally found this poem which my father-in-law used to quote which I thought had a beautiful message. I took all the other ideas, translated them into Latin and gave those words to the chorus. The steadiness of the text remains even in the midst of the turbulence.
II. Solus - Alone - This piece was written to capture the feeling of being alone. Being alone is not necessarily a bad thing. Most of us do our best thinking when we are alone. Sometimes being alone can be the start of something beutiful. One girl alone in her room recording herself singing just the soprano line of a song brought thousands of people together to create visually stunning virtual choirs. Thousands of voices singing together, alone.
Being alone is different than being lonely.
III. In Turba - In a Crowd - I don't like crowds. I get tense at concerts, sporting events, or big cities. I feel trapped when surrounded by too many people. This song captures my angst while being in a crowd. The different languages are used to represent the idea that crowds are also made of individuals, each engrossed in their own worlds, their own thoughts, their own conversations. Just like being alone, though, being part of a crowd can be a breathtakingly beautiful experience when each individual concentrates on bringing their thoughts into one. Picture the raw power of an orchestra and a choir of 500 voices singing fortissimo, "O Fortuna!" and you begin to capture the potential of a crowd.
I hope you will take some time to listen to these pieces. They came from a very deep place and I hope they can touch you as well.
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Composer, Choral Conductor, DMA Student,