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decketh joy, water destroy (2018)

for soprano & chamber ensemble or

for soprano & piano

ca. 10'

chamber version:



Bb clarinet



double bass

percussion (see below)



Water has always fascinated artists. It mesmerizes through the intrinsic beauty of its physicality and its complex relationship with us humans. In our own time, we can be awestruck by its beauty and cognizant of the destruction it increasingly brings in this century, each year more than the last. The text is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem, “Water”:


The water understands

Civilization well;

It wets my foot, but prettily,

It chills my life, but wittily,

It is not disconcerted,

It is not broken-hearted:

Well used, it decketh joy,

Adorneth, doubleth joy:

Ill used, it will destroy,

In perfect time and measure

With a face of golden pleasure

Elegantly destroy. 

begins at [1:15]

percussion instruments:

bass drum, suspended cymbal, triangle, vibes, crotales (only lower octave), pitched gongs (only C4, G4, B4)

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