The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was another senseless act of violence in a long and tragic trail of violence toward children. It left me feeling helpless, yet again. Feelings returned that I had not felt since the murders at Sandy Hook.

The Unarmed Child is my response to this violence that pervades our society today. Although this mass focuses on gun violence, our youth are threatened by many forms of violence. Our children face violence through the opioid crisis, verbal abuse, an increase in suicides (particularly in the LGBT community), climate change, especially as fresh water supply diminishes, and war with over 28 million child refugees on the global stage.

The Movements of The Unarmed Child – Preliminary Plan

I. Agnus Dei   (dark)

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: dona eis requiem.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: dona eis requiem.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: dona eis requiem sepiternam.

 II. Tribute     Hip hopera/choral fusion   –   tribute to inner city youth  (charged, powerful)

Commissioned by Collegium Ancora

Lyrics to be written by hip hopera artist, Adrian Dunn.

III. Kyrie  (major, gentle, treble, pastorale)

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.

IV. Eight Inches (De Profundis)  (dark, somber, strong)

De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine.

Domine, exaudi vocem mean

Fiant aures tuae intendentes

In vocem deprecationis meae,

V. Bird on a Wire (lyrics, Chantal Sellers)  (sorrowful)

Commissioned by the Eugene Concert Choir, Dr. Diane Retallak, Artistic Director

In winter the stars fell like snow,

Scattered and broken

With nowhere to go,

And I held your breath while you slept,

Dreaming the way sparrows dream

When the spring tides are rising

And even the old stones wear green.

There’s a bird on a wire

Watching over an empty nest,

And it’s me hanging there

Still waiting for something, I guess.

I’m watching through windows

Days I thought that I’d never see,

Then the wild wind rises

And I feel you here next to me.

That winter soon passed

Like all of the seasons before.

Time shrugged off its coat

And left muddy boots at the door.

I walked in green fields,

Swept up in violet reverie,

But the moment was frozen

Because winter never left me.

I can’t unbreak the stars

Or paint them back into the sky.

I can’t turn back the arrow

Or even figure out why.

The days come and go

And all of the seasons will change,

But this season is yours

And it’s here that I’ll write your name.

VI. Sanctus (musical mood and setting to be determined, to complement material coming before and after.)

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.

Hosanna in excelsis.

VII.       To Avielle, On Her 5th Sixth Birthday  (lyrics, Chantal Sellers)  (lovingly)

Commissioned by the Mount Sinai Choral Consortium, Mr. Eric Blatt, Conductor

VIII.     Benedictus (strong, determined)

Benedictus qui venit

In nominee Domini.

Hosanna in excelsis.

IX. Come to Me, in the Silence  (uplifting, sweeping)

Come to me in the silence of the night;

Come in the speaking silence of a dream;

Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright

As sunlight on a stream;

Come back in tears,

O memory, hope, love of finished years.

O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,

Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,

Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;

Where thirsting longing eyes

Watch the slow door

That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live

My very life again though cold in death:

Come back to me in dreams, that I may give

Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:

Speak low, lean low

As long ago, my love, how long ago.

–      Christina Georgina Rossetti

X.  Where The Mind Is Without Fear (grand, triumphant)

(incorporate the action word, “Listen”, into this movement)

(based on the poem “Where the Mind is Without Fear”, by Rabindranath Tagore)

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way;
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee;
Into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom,
let my country awake.

Commissions, Consortiums, Projects

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