Cantata for 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 2 tenors, baritone, bass-baritone, and SATB chamber choir, with flute, guitar (electric, acoustic, and classical), piano, and cello. 62 minutes.
Commissioned by Skylark Vocal Ensemble.
NEW! Skylark Vocal Ensemble’s World Premiere live recording of Sauntering Songs (paired with Transform the World with Beauty) is available now on all major streaming music platforms (including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, and Tidal). The CD will be available in October, and may be pre-ordered from Skylark. Read my digital liner notes with essays and lyrics.
A love letter to wanderlust, this World Premiere commission weaves together art songs, choral music, and literature into an expansive cantata on the theme of walking.
Influences from rock, folk, and musical theater shine in a lyrical and evocative score by composer/librettist Nell Shaw Cohen, marrying the voices of three-time GRAMMY®-nominee Skylark with an instrumental quartet comprised of guitarist James Moore and musicians from Juventas New Music Ensemble.
From Walt Whitman to the present day, Sauntering Songs celebrates diverse characters who search for freedom and fulfillment through subversive journeys on foot.
Perusal score available on request. Performance score available for purchase. Please direct inquiries to Nell Shaw Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selections available for standalone performance (click titles for details and perusal scores):
- FURTHER OUT, DEEPER IN – SATB choir. 4 mins.
- ONE WALKS THE FLESH TRANSPARENT – SATB choir. 4 mins.
- STREET HAUNTING – SATB choir. 3 ½ mins.
- WHERE THERE WAS NO PATH – SATB choir. 2 ½ mins.
- FIRST FOOTSTEPS – Soprano, flute, and guitar. 5 ½ mins.
- JUST BECAUSE – Mezzo-soprano, flute, electric guitar, and cello. 3 ½ mins.
- WOMAN WALKING – Mezzo soprano, piano, and cello. 5 mins.
- TRESPASSING – Tenor, flute, and piano. 4 mins.
- BEST FRIEND – Tenor, acoustic steel-string guitar, and cello. 3 ½ mins.
- RARE BIRD – Tenor, baritone, electric guitar, and piano. 4 ½ mins.
Music & Libretto by Nell Shaw Cohen
With texts by John Clare, Megan Cohen, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, John Francis, John Muir, Nan Shepherd, Walt Whitman, and Virginia Woolf
Skylark Vocal Ensemble (Matthew Guard, Artistic Director), Juventas New Music Ensemble, and James Moore, guitar; Falmouth Academy, Falmouth, MA, 4/20/23.
Skylark Vocal Ensemble (Matthew Guard, Artistic Director), Juventas New Music Ensemble, and James Moore, guitar; Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, MA, 4/21/23
Skylark Vocal Ensemble (Matthew Guard, Artistic Director), Juventas New Music Ensemble, and James Moore, guitar; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Newburyport, MA, 4/22/23.