Suspended in Spin
for vocal octet (SSSSMMAA)(2023)
|Text information||Text by Tracy K. Smith|
|Commission||Commissioned by Lorelei Ensemble in honor of Susan Reardon|
|Premiere||November 3, 2023; MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts; Lorelei Ensemble • Beth Willer, conductor|
There are few realities, if any, that are as disheartening and demoralizing as climate change. Much of the discourse surrounding this crisis is rightfully focused on data and large-scale impact, but as a result, it often becomes easy to overlook the smaller-scale realities that climate change is forcing upon the more at-risk communities across the globe. Tracy K. Smith’s poetry brings this dichotomy to the foreground, simultaneously acknowledging the damage that we, as a species, are inflicting upon not just the planet, but on people on this planet. Her poetry also looks beyond our relationship to the Earth, and zooms us out so we can see the improbability of our existence on a rock floating in the abyss, to contextualize the profundity and triviality of humanity. In my piece, Suspended in Spin, I aimed to simply capture the trepidations and reverence that I felt while reading this poem.
– Elijah Daniel Smith