Site Overlay

The Song-Spattered Sky

soprano and piano (2020)

Ashley Becker, soprano; Keith Chambers, piano


Duration: 3:00
Commissioned by: The Bellingham Symphony
Premiere: November 8, 2021
Ashley Becker, soprano; Keith Chambers, piano


Score — $15

Digital performance materials will be emailed within 1-3 business days.

program note

The Song-Spattered Sky was written in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown. When the simplest outings into the world seemed fraught, I found comfort in our garden, a safe outdoor space. In the absence of usual inputs from the outside world and left to my thoughts for company, I found myself tending to my own experience in a way that resembled working in the garden. Some activities, thoughts, and habits needed to be pulled like weeds, and others grew strong and tall with water, sunlight, and a bit of careful attention.

My friend Farnaz Fatemi‘s poetry captured the sense of that time for me.

My patch of dirt
is like the belly of the buddha which I’d rub, if I could.
I weed it free of invasives.
Gloves keep the sting
of the leaves off my fingers. Nettle, bindweed, oxalis.
Cultivate soil to change the future. Here’s a seed to burst
from its hull and bring news.
Or, if not news, a daydream, furtive, caught by chance
from the song-spattered sky.

— Farnaz Fatemi (Used with permission)