Whoever You Are
Download: High voice & piano. (3 minutes)
This 2015 revision of the song written in honor of the inauguration of poet Dana Gioia to his post as director of the National Endowment of the Arts. We seldom have artists atop the NEA and it was a wonderful occasion to celebrate Mr. Gioia's wonderful poetry. This poem is a potent invocation and encouragement to push one's envelope of comfort:
Whoever you are, step out of doors tonight,
Out of the room that lets you feel secure,
Infinity is open to your sight.
With eyes that have forgotten how to see
From viewing things already too-well known --
Lift up into the dark a huge black tree
And put it in the heavens: tall, alone.
And you have made the world and all you see.
It ripens like the words still in your mouth.
And when at last you comprehend its truth
Then close your eyes and gently set it free.
He's Gone Away for soprano, oboe, violin and piano
Download: soprano, oboe, violin, piano. (3 minutes)
He's Gone Away (soprano, oboe, violin & piano) is a traditional Appalachian folk song -- rooted and beautiful. And this melody & lyric is incredibly expressive, horrifying and durable. This work belongs to the portfolio of works called American Songs.
Lover's Lament for mixed choir and guitar
Download: SATB choir, guitar. (3 minutes)
Includes a license for unlimited photocopies of this score.
"Lover's Lament" is a setting of a traditional Appalachian folk song. It is another of the "settings" created in the larger portfolio of works by Randall Davidson called American Songs.
This 3-minute setting of an Appalachian lyric and melody is intermediate difficulty and can be sung by most high school or community choirs. This was composed in 1991 as part of a larger project inspired by Carl Sandburg's "The American Songbag." Other works in this series may eventually find their way onto this website but for now you are free to download the work and use it.