Turn, Turn

two part voices a cappella

2 min duration

text by Raymond Knister

Pavane 2021 {email composer for copy}

Commissioned by the Amabile Choirs of London, Canada

This work should be performed as fast as musically possible. The repetitive nature of the poem, and the poems subject matter informs the style and musical gestures of the composition.

Raymond Knister was a Canadian poet known for his work on themes of rural life, “Plowman’s Song” speaks to this theme. Dorothy Livesay wrote “Knister seemed to epitomize the struggle of a generation” and his work “showed the effects of the many forces which were changing Canadian society”

“Plowman’s Song” R. Knister {public domain}

Turn under, plow, My trouble; Turn under griefs And stubble.

Turn mouse’s nest, Gnawing years; Old roots up For love’s new tears.

Turn, plow, the clods For new thunder. Turn under, plow, Turn under.