Chamber choir, full choir (SATB, SATB), organ
Composer's note: Water Ruminations is a setting of six poems by the thirteenth-century poet Rumi, in English translations from the Persian by Coleman Barks, for double choir and organ.
The poetry sings of literal and spiritual connections between water and sky, a drop of water and human life, flowing water and love, drinking water and its container, the giddiness of spring and rolling seas, and the ocean’s gifts and singing. Its images, from 800 years ago, speak to us with both vivid immediacy and transcendence.
The idea for the piece originated with the Mellon Elemental Arts Initiative, which proposed funding activities that would involve students in artistic experience and creation over the next four years, centered around the uniting theme of the four classical elements of Water, Earth, Air, and Fire. This year’s theme being water, the poems set here seemed ideal. The project brings together our own Pomona College Choir, Donna M. Di Grazia, conductor and the professional Millennium Consort Singers, Martin Neary, conductor, for a week of rehearsing, performing, and recording. Water Ruminations is gratefully dedicated to the two choirs and their conductors.