My Soul, Arise

SATB and Alto Saxophone
3 min duration
Text by James Joyce
Commissioned by The Choral Scholars ofUniversity College Dublin Desmond Earley, Artistic Director
please email me for score information and availability

“My Soul, Arise” utilizes an ABA form, where the B section temporarily transports the listener to a dream-like state; the music here features a duet between Alto Saxophone and Soprano, while the remaining voices blur into the background as if we are either half- awake or half-asleep. The Alto Saxophone gesture throughout the work uses a variety of motivic ideas from short fragmentary utterances, to more florid lines, to sustaining – thread like durations which tie the music together between phrases. The A sections feature homophonic chorale-like writing, using varying phrase lengths and slight variation in the motivic idea to bring out poignancy and imagery of the Joyce text.

Text by James Joyce

From dewy dreams, my soul, arise,
From love’s deep slumber and from death,

For lo! the treees are full of sighs Whose leaves the morn admonisheth.

Eastward the gradual dawn prevails Where softly-burning fires appear,

Making to tremble all those veils Of grey and golden gossamer.

While sweetly, gently, secretly,
The flowery bells of morn are stirred

And the wise choirs of faery
Begin (innumerous!) to be heard.