If you are familiar with the vocal jazz series “Voice Dance” by Greg Jasperse, then you will LOVE this piece. It combines wonderful jazz and cluster chord harmonies, enticing melodies, and beautiful text, which is wonderfully relevant to the last few days of this month.

The text was written in light of September 11, 2001. Read along as you listen:

Oh how beautiful this finely woven earth

We are bound in threads of joy, threads of grief, of soul

Your tears fall from my eyes, your joy rings in my laughter

We are bound together

Give me your sorrow

I will stretch across (to you) over green pine (will feel) and sparkling lake (my heart)

How my heart beats with yours, you will feel how my heart beats with yours

I know your hearts journey, it is my own

Oh how beautiful this finely woven earth

I sang this piece for two semesters in my chamber choir at Clemson. At first, I naturally fell in love with it for it’s beautiful harmonies and for the challenge it presented in tuning those chords perfectly in such a small group. After someone mentioned (after reading in the inside cover of the score…something we ALL should do with ANY piece!) that the text was inspired by September 11, I suddenly had new feelings toward the piece, and began to listen more closely.

“We are bound together.” It had hit me. That’s what the piece is about.

I was in 8th grade in 2001, living only 40 minutes from New York City. Our town lost 25 people that day, including one of my neighbor and good friend’s father. We had only been in school for a week (NJ starts after labor day) but would be missing the next few days or so to spend time with that family, waiting to hear any news and to provide support and comfort. Unfortunately, all news wasn’t good news. The rest of that year brought my friends, our families, and our neighborhood much closer than we were before. We were bound together.

This piece perfectly reflects unity and support through each note and chord. As I began thinking about that during each rehearsal and performance, I realized exactly how beautiful this “finely woven” earth really is to me. When you sing the line “we are bound together” with some of your closest friends in the world…there are no words!!

That really should be a life slogan everywhere. Be bound together with your family, your friends, your colleagues, your peers, your music ensembles…everyone!

It’s amazing what assigned choral literature can do to you.