Sing who are weary in spirit!
for SATB chorus and chamber orchestra
Text: Rabindranath Tagore
Instrumentation: 1111 piano strings
Duration: c. 10:00
Rabindranath Tagore - Crossing LXXVII - from Lover's Gift and Crossing, 1918
'TRAVELLER, where do you go?'
'I go to bathe in the sea in the redd'ning dawn, along the tree-bordered path.'
'Traveller, where is that sea?'
'There where this river ends its course, where the dawn opens into morning,
where the day droops to the dusk.'
'Traveller, how many are they who come with you?'
'I know not how to count them.
They are travelling all night with their lamps lit, they are singing all day
through land and water.'
'Traveller, how far is the sea?'
'How far is it we all ask?
The rolling roar of its water swells to the sky when we hush our talk.
It ever seems near yet far.'
'Traveller, the sun is waxing strong.'
'Yes, our journey is long and grievous.
Sing who are weary in spirit, sing who are timid of heart.'
'Traveller, what if the night overtakes you?'
'We shall lie down to sleep till the new morning dawns with its songs,
and the call of the sea floats in the air.'
Sing who is weary in spirit! was commissioned by Mark Reppert and the Siskiyou Singers in honor of their 30th anniversary. It was premiered by them, with Mark Reppert conducting, on Dec. 7-8-9, 2012, at the Southern Oregon University Recital Hall in Ashland, OR.
I'lana Cotton is a composer, improviser and pianist who has created works for a broad range of genres, from solo piano to small chamber groups to large choral and instrumental ensembles. She holds a Master of Arts degree in composition from the University of California at Los Angeles. Ongoing interest in world music led her to study both Javenese gamelan and north Indian classical vocal technique. As a San Francisco Bay area resident for many years, she was active throughout the area as a modern dance accompanist, composer, and music educator. Since moving to southern Oregon in 2003, she has written over 35 works for Rogue Valley musicians and ensembles, including four commissions for the Siskiyou Singers, a large community choir. The Rogue Valley Symphony commissioned Cantus, a large-scale work for orchestra, in honor of its 50th anniversary season, which was premiered in October, 2017.