Call Across

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World premiere of "Call Across" by composer Kyle Pederson and poet Brian Newhouse. Recipient of the American Choral Directors Association Genesis Prize.

Call Across, written by Kyle Pederson (Minneapolis, MN) and Brian Newhouse (Minneapolis, MN), is composed for SATB choir with piano, djembe, and optional hang drum. Three characters from around the world call across physical space, history, and silence—seeking to break out of their particular form of isolation—giving voice to the elemental human need for connection and leaving the audience with an empowering invitation to connection and unity. More information at ​

“Call Across” Text and Translation, text by Brian Newhouse

I.
Alone, for days without number,
through forest and fjord I sing,
aching for your voice.
Not the sound of wind scraping rock,
not the leaves empty talk
nor the sound of the brook;
but oh, for your voice
hungry and looking as mine.
Let it arc over mountain like a gull over water,
rush through the deep green and land in my heart.
To hear my name again, to be beloved and belong,
to be at home wherever I
There is no beauty without your voice.

II.
The dry grass here runs forever.
It whispers without end and bends for
rain that never comes,
and at the horizon it rises like smoke.
Grandfather walked here before me,
his grandfather long before him.
Ancestors from across the centuries—
step now from your silence and walk with me.
I will build my fire tonight against the dark
and its teeth of all kinds,
yet I would fear nothing if only the light
found your face.
You who walked these same fields,
whose blood I share,
whose name I carry, step in and
say my name as I say yours.
There is no beauty without your voice.

Additional Shona text: Tsvaga urare, gara udare, dare rinokuriga
Translation: Rest, remain in peace, trials/troubles can kill you
III.
Brick and mortar
fence and guard
glass and glare
fact and fake
lock and key
privilege protects me, seals me in safety.
I throw bolts to bar the door,
build walls and ward off the world--
though it seals me as well in silence.
And the soul shrinks down
and the heart grows small.
There is no beauty without your voice.

IV.
I call across canyons, I call across plains.
I call across colors, I call across time.
What beauty can we make if our voices join?
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