I Was Born | SATB Chorus & Cello | 7'
The text for I Was Born began as a tweet: “I was born to be a great friend and I loved it and I loved you so much I love you so much I hope you feel like all of my life and you will.” Genie Hossain was responding to a twitter prompt—Start typing “I was born,” then use predictive text to write the rest—when she wrote what would become the text for this piece.
I found that, long after I’d seen Genie’s words scroll through my Twitter feed, I couldn’t stop thinking about that final phrase: “I hope you feel like all of my life and you will.” That line, combined with the repetition in this tiny found poem, sums up so much of the wonder and uncertainty we find in our most meaningful relationships. If we’re lucky, the electric thrill of a new friendship or romantic relationship turns gradually into a calm certainty, something we know will be with us our entire life.
This piece is dedicated with gratitude to Suzi Digby and The Golden Bridge Choir, who commissioned this work to pair with Thomas Tallis’s If Ye Love Me. While I Was Born is a secular work, both pieces explore everlasting love and unshakeable faith. Fragments of the former work weave into the latter in both the sung melodies and the cello line as if remembered in a dream-state, offering up a resonant layer of assuredness and comfort.
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I was born to be a great friend
and I loved it
and I loved you
I loved you so much
I love you so much
I hope you feel like all of my life
and you will
early drafts & composing notes
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