As you may or may not be aware, I have begun my time in college as a part of the University Chorale. I am still getting used to the rigidity of choral singing, but I am having a blast and I look forward to the day when it becomes old hat and I don’t have to focus on the mechanics of it all.
Today we started learning a piece that is very unique, to say the least. It’s called “Water Night,” and it is a loose translation of Octavio Paz’s poem “Agua Nocturna” set to music. In case you haven’t read Octavio Paz, he wrote some pretty vague stuff, and Eric Whitacre (the composer) is a “20th Century” composer, as our choral director put it. So the product of these two singular people is this song, which will be quite difficult from what I judge (perhaps more for some parts than others).
The harmony (or shall I say, dissonance?) of the piece is really odd, and jarring to the ears in certain places. One chord is made up of 14 adjacent notes, and were it not for all the pretty voices, my consonance-loving ears might just rebel.
So this is my most recent adventure. The song is not particularly horrible-sounding like some “modern” music, but it will be challenging. Fortunately iTunes had a recording for download, so I got that to listen to to help me along.