Closer to Home  |  5'

for SATB, SSAA, or TTBB chorus a cappella

​In Fall 2017, my parents sold my childhood home within a day of putting it up for sale. I barely had time to come visit one last time. Although I hadn't lived there in twelve years, this was a place that I still thought of as home, in the way that you can leave the place where your life actually is--in my case, Los Angeles--to go "home" to New Jersey, and then, on the flight back to California, say once again that you're returning home.

The person who bought this childhood home is planning to tear it down and build another, bigger one in its place, and knowing that I'd never see the house again made it even harder to leave. I did go back one last time, and that experience was the inspiration for Closer to Home.

 

The place described in the text is real; there really are two acres of woods "just over the fence," and there's a river two houses down. 

Though Closer to Home can be programmed by itself, this piece was composed alongside Faster as part of the Open/Close Consortium. Faster is about wanting to leave a place; Closer to Home is about returning to the same place for the very last time. Both pieces are available for perusal or purchase through Graphite Marketplace. Find more ideas on how to program these works together or separately here.

Closer to Home is dedicated with gratitude to the ten commissioning choruses of the Open/Close Consortium: 

Acalanes High School Choirs

Bruce Lengacher

 

Bethel College Concert Choir

Jeshua Franklin

 

 Flower Mound High School Choirs

Mark Rohwer

 

Harmonium Choral Society

Anne Matlack

 

Holland Chorale

Patrick Coyle

 

Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota

Rick Kvam

 

Marriotts Ridge High School Choirs

Scott AuCoin

 

Sherwood High School Choirs

Michael Maddox

 

Southwest Christian High School Choirs

Curtis Kettler

 

University of Southern California Choirs

Jo-Michael Scheibe

text

CLOSER TO HOME

for Cindy, Harry, and Douglas

To the garden full of lavender,

the woods just over the fence,

the trickle of a river that's just past the dead end,

to the dog in the yard and the worn out floors

and the toys packed away down the hall—

it would've been easier not to come back at all.

 

And you're closer to home than you've ever been before,

leaving the garden, leaving the halls,

leaving the woods and the river and all.

You're closer to home than you've ever been before,

and you've never wanted to stay here more.

 

But the memories you made here

are only half the life you've lived,

and you have no choice. The woods and the garden

have given all they had to give,

and still you wonder if you'll ever learn

how to leave a place not knowing if you'll return.

 

To the garden full of lavender,

the woods just over the fence,

the trickle of a river that's just past the dead end—

it would have been easier not to come back this time,

to leave the woods, the garden, the river and all behind.

 

But you're closer to home than you've ever been before,

though it isn't the woods and it isn't the garden,

it isn't the house or the dog in the yard—

you're closer to home than you've ever been before

as you realize home isn't here,

you finally realize home isn't here anymore.

 

Now it's time to close the door

on a house where you had a garden, a river;

you couldn't have asked for better or more.

And maybe you'll return someday, somehow,

but it's time to go back to the life you're living now.

 

It's time to go home to a life you won't outgrow.

Leaving the garden, leaving the halls,

leaving the woods and the river and all,

it's time to go home, for finally you know

that home will be waiting for you,

home will follow wherever you go.

 

—Dale Trumbore

Similar to Closer to Home:

Faster

You Find Yourself Here

Demo Tracks - Closer to Home - SATB

Demo Tracks - Closer to Home - SSAA

Demo Tracks - Closer to Home - TTBB

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