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Someone not there now | Steven Sérpa

Someone not there now

for SATB chorus a capella (2013)



Duration: 2½ min.

Naomi Shihab Nye

June 28th, 2013
Beall Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
American Creators Chorus
Craig Hella Johnson, conductor

Program Note:
The trio of short poems titled “Darling” was written by Naomi Shihab Nye in the mid-1990s and focuses on the human aftermath of the violence that is continually in the headlines and on the news: the injury, the damage, the emptiness left by the many deaths. Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Palestinian father and an American mother, and spent much of her childhood living in Palestine and then in San Antonio, Texas, where she still resides. Her work draws on the experience of her multi-cultural heritage and the perspective that brings.

I stumbled across her poetry shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and saw that the pain and fear and loss that many Americans were feeling was not unique. Though it was a new to me, tragedies like that had been part of the daily lives of millions in the Middle East for generations. Another bombing recently hit very close to home, the bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon, and the 8 year old boy, Martin Richard, who was killed by the explosions brought to mind the boy in Nye’s poem. This work is composed to honor the lives lost during that bombing and the resulting manhunt, and to those struggling with the physical and emotional aftermath of those events


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