The Robin (2020)
for soprano, piccolo, cello, & piano
text by Gibran Khalil Gibran
Gibran’s “The Robin” for me in 2020 represents a yearning for peace while in a state of isolation and anxiety. This feeling is also reflected in the singer’s situation. The piece, created with social-distancing measures in mind, is written such that the singer is not only physically isolated from her instrumentalist colleagues, but also musically. She has to sing, then wait for a reaction. During the pandemic, we want to gather together, but can’t. In Gibran’s robin we find beauty, peace, and tranquility. The robin lives gracefully and in the moment. Imagining this robin as I composed has been a kind of balm. I hope it is for you, too.
Gibran, like my father, emigrated to the United States from Lebanon. My father grew up in Beirut, and I became especially motivated to work with Gibran’s poetry after Beirut’s devastating explosion, which compounded the numerous crises in that country. Half of performance royalties will be donated to Islamic Relief USA’s aid efforts in Lebanon.