Sunday, March 25, 2007
i thank you god (gwyneth walker)
Katie Smith sent me this email today:
I found this very interesting, and thought you might, too. It's a great explanation of the poem/music relationship, and gave the piece (which I wasn't particularly found of) a lot more meaning for me.
By "this" she was referring to this musical-spiritual analysis of the composer in the piece "i thank you god" by Gwyneth Walker.
The goal of this piece was to create vastness and grandeur. In terms of its overall structure, it started with C Minor, in a low range, and ventured forth, at first in small steps (to D, to Bb), then in large steps (the chordal progression outlined above) until it reached its farthest tonal “expedition,” the Second Harmonic Pole, G flat. Having established itself in this remote realm, it was then able to arrive triumphantly at C Major, in a high range.
We often find deeper meanings in pieces the longer we live with them. After you've done it many times (find the deeper meanings), you begin to perceive them faster.
I was moved by this piece when I first heard it performed by Stetson University's choir last year in Deland, Florida. The poetry, of course, is top notch and very well known in the USA. This work by Walker is well known among the top women's choirs.
Have patience with music. Great pieces sometimes reveal themselves over time.