I am Music | SATB Chorus & Piano | 6'
I am Music sets an anonymous text, a riddle full of mystery and rich imagery, where music speaks in the first person. In this refrain, as throughout the piece, music describes the many moods and emotions it can evoke:
Through me spirits immortal speak the message
that makes the world weep, and laugh,
and wonder, and worship.
I am Music was commissioned and premiered by Choral Arts Initiative (Brandon Elliott, director). This piece is published in the G. Schirmer Dale Warland Choral Series.
Want to perform this piece? Preview the score and purchase I am Music here.
Through me spirits immortal speak the message that makes the world weep,
And laugh, and wonder, and worship.
I tell the story of love, the story of hate,
the story that saves, and damns.
I am the incense upon which prayers float to heaven.
I am the smoke which palls over the field of battle where men lie dying with me on their lips.
I am close to the marriage altar,
and when the graves open, I stand nearby.
I call the wanderer home,
I rescue the soul from the depths.
I open the lips of lovers and through me the dead whisper to the living.
I speak through the birds of the air,
The insects of the field, the crash of the waters on
The sighing of wind in the trees,
and I am even heard [...]
In the clatter of wheels on city streets.
I know my brother, yet all men are my brothers;
I am of them and they are of me, for I am the instrument of God.
I am music.
—Anonymous, circa 1919
(Excerpted by the composer)