I Am Loved as I Love (2015)
for 2-part Voices and Drone
Text by Andrew Barrett
Duration: 2.5 min.
Dedication: for Joseph Gregorio
Publisher: Selah Publishing Co., Inc. (forthcoming)
I Am Loved as I Love (2015) is a setting of an early 20th century text from the Shaker community in Harvard, Massachusetts. This community was the second in the United States and was active from 1769 until 1917. The original Shaker tune for the text is a joyous melody not unlike the well-known “Simple Gifts.” This entirely new musical setting attempts a different approach—while inspired by American folk music, it strives for a mystical and inward tone, though always with fervency.
This work may be performed by almost any conceivable combination of two vocal parts, from a full mixed chorus to a duet. There are various possibilities for its realization, depending on whether mixed (men and women) or non-mixed voices are employed. The simplicity of the texture should not be assumed to imply small forces only—the focused power of a medium to large choral ensemble singing in unison can be very gripping.
With a group of mixed voices, the composer suggests the first page be sung in unison (octaves) by all. The second page then splits into two parts: primarily S/T the top part and A/B the lower, though it may be desirable to add a few A/B’s to the top part, given its lower notes.
Note about the drone: The drone (D) in this work may be performed by a variety of possible instruments. The most ideal instrument (and the composer’s first preference) is a shruti box.
Other effective possibilities include harmonium, pipe organ (portatif or regular), synthesizer, or a cello. The dynamic and timbre of the drone will depend upon the size of the vocal/choral forces. It should be always present and clearly heard in the sonic texture. The drone provides a constant presence to which the tuning and timbre of the voices react, in both consonance and dissonance.
Regardless of the vocal forces, it is suggested that the drone be kept in the register/octave shown in the score. If using an instrument such as an organ, and the vocal forces are large and mixed, the D one octave below could be added as well (not replacing the octave shown.)