I wrote this for our church choir (the
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton)
but I never gave it them to perform. The text is an excerpt from Thomas
Pynchon's book Mason & Dixon, and his description of dusk falling
across the new America evoked a sense of quietude that I found hopefully
resonant, especially still dazed by 9/11 and subsequent events.
I was on sabbatical and was having trouble really revving up on the
My Music Book
Here is the text excerpt, from the beginning of Chapter 16. I also
use this in Chapter 2 of My Music Book:
In the strong twilight over the Mountains of
Wales, draining of light League upon League of darkly forested
Peaks... to the eye familiar, the occasional interruption of a
Cabin or Plantation... chimney Smoke, a gray patch of girdl'd
Trees amid the green pervading... a Shade ascending one hollow
at a time, the wind acquires at the Dark a potency it did not
possess in the light. An ax-bit's blow quench'd in living wood.
A dog after a Squirrel. A percussive "Sandwich" of hammer,
anvil and the Work between. Night over all this watershed how
vast, that covers each soul in it like a breathing Mouth, humid,
warm, carrying the odors of living and dying, that takes back
ev'rything committed upon Land that Day, without appeal,
dissolving all in Shadow.