for horn octet/choir
There Will Come Soft Rains for horn octet is based on a poem by Sara Teasdale. The poem juxtaposes the soft and idyllic sounds of nature with the underlying implication of humankind's disappearance from earth. Nature reclaims the ruined battlefields of war, while the footprint of man slowly begins to fade due to the unrelenting forces of time. The shimmering of the rains and the sound of a natural world within Teasdale's poem is replicated by an effect in the horn, where two players place their bells against each other, and sound a standing wave when both players play simultaneously. The juxtaposition of the poem is also reflected in the front quartet playing mostly melodic material on top of the back quartet's textural material, giving a sense of divided worlds.
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows calling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
- Sara Teasdale
scheduled premiere April 2nd, 2020 by the BGSU Horn Club