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Nico Muhly

Publisher: Chester Music

Syllables (2007),
Work Notes
Commissioned by Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
Publisher
St. Rose Music Publishing
Category
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed
2007
Duration
7 Minutes
Chorus
Solo Voices; SATB
Availability
Programme Note
Nico Muhly Syllables (2007),
Syllables is an exploded setting of an old Icelandic text describing the end of the world. I say exploded as I elected to set the text both in English, fragments of Old Icelandic, as well as nonsense syllables taken from both languages. There is a constant, anxious pulse throughout the first section, which ends with a giant unison and the entire choir singing the same text for the first time in the piece. This texture melts into an aquatic, lilting piano accompaniment, over which a long, long line eventually dissolves into unison chordal syllables, as if the last things standing are the fragments of language.

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