Photo taken at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, Cleveland, OH, 2019
for SATB choir (2017)
Not knowing quite where to begin when deciding to write my first choral work, I spent much time delving into poetry before composing to gather inspiration. In an effort to understand the craftwork behind writing poetry, I reached out to a friend who shared some of her own experiences as a writer. One of her texts she referenced, “October Danger”, caught my attention because of the fascinating dichotomy the she creates between innocent desire and weakness. Through imagery of beautiful autumn scenery, the poem brings about several underlying concepts that are uncomfortable to face: realizing the ease with which we are distracted by desire, being conflicted between what we love and what is ultimately right, and losing ourselves while pursuing a romanticized reality. These hidden sentiments spoke to me strongly, and my personal understanding of the poem’s context drew me to set it to music.
T E X T
October Danger by Anabelle Clark
I am falling again
into the mid-autumn danger
ushered in by the blushing trees,
and the warning scarlet leaves,
and the winding path to nowhere,
paved by solitude and despair.
I am in danger
of being swept up in the leaves.
I can’t think anymore —
Which of these feelings are real?
The tantalizing whispers of the wind
and the tap dancing October rains
have muddled them all into one.
May 18th, 2019 – Fairmount Presbytarian Church, Cleveland, OH
May 19th, 2019 – First Baptist Church, Akron, OH