Publisher: Chester Music
So to Speak (2004)
Commissioned by Amiel Melnick, Fercent Polyglot
St. Rose Music Publishing
So To Speak (After Thomas Tallis) is an extended meditation on an anthem for Pentecost by Thomas Tallis entitled Loquebantur Variis Linguis (they spoke in many tongues). After organizing the material for the piece, I wrote a melody that works against, underneath, and above Tallis’s lines to create counterpoint made of old and new elements. Patterns of aggressive woodwind scales and ornaments evoke some of the hysteria inherent in glossolalia (ecstatic speaking in tongues). The central section of the piece gestures towards an insect-like musical and religious fervor.