The Same Stream

by Thomas LaVoy

Text Author: Rabindranath Tagore

Music © 2015 GIA.

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Vocal Forces: SATB divisi

Accompaniment: Reduction

Text Source: "Stream of Life," verse 69 from Gitanjali, 1912

Series: Evoking Sound, Evoking Sound

Difficulty Level: M/D

Description:

I have recently been incredibly inspired by the writings of the great Bengali mystic Rabindranath Tagore, whose
monumental collection of poetry Gitanjali won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. This book introduces the
reader to a new awareness of the world that surrounds us, deepening the connection between nature and the
human spirit that we all yearn for. Verse 69 is particularly joyful and life-affirming: an ecstatic realization of the
energies that move in ceaseless ebb and flow through us, our lives, and our natural environment.
Each individual line of this verse has a unique character and color, so I have placed each in a key that I feel suits
the mood of the text. The constantly flowing ostinati that weave their way throughout are collectively a musical
representation of the “stream of life” to which Tagore refers. This flowing line can be found even in the subdued
third line of text, which makes reference to the “ocean-cradle of birth and of death.” In similar fashion, the more
complex rhythmic cells found within the stream (e.g., measures 21–40) are a product of Tagore’s ecstatic tone.
Ultimately this piece is simply meant to be an expression of joy. It is dedicated with great admiration to the
commissioning ensemble, the Fort Myers High School Greenwave Singers, and their conductor Matt Koller. This
tremendous ensemble is a prime example of choral music education in practice in the United States, and I feel
honored to have been given this opportunity to work with them.
—Thomas LaVoy

Categories: Choral Vocal

Topical: Creation, Joy

Number of Pages: 24

Language: English

Format: Octavo

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