Wherever You Go
The text for this piece comes from Ruth 1:16. I used a combination of different wordings from different translations of the Bible so as to get the lines that flowed best. The text is as follows:
“Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Don’t ask me to leave and to turn back from following.”
The piece consists of a simple refrain on the lines, “wherever you go…etc” that is answered by another melody on the line “Your people will be my people…etc.” After the full choir sings a harmony on the refrain and the answer, a transition occurs with full harmony and luscious suspensions that ultimately resolve into a haunting tone cluster. When the refrain lyrics return, the males sing the main melody while a fragmented version of the counter melody is laid over top of the original lines. For the answer to the refrain, the opposite occurs. The women sing the melody for the answer while the refrain’s melody is fragmented and sung by the men. The line “Don’t ask me to leave and to turn back from following,” is the climactic point of the piece, sung over a reharmonized version of the answer’s melody. This is originally the first line in the Bible verse, but I chose to put it at the end of the piece for greater emphasis. The refrain in full harmony is sung again to close the piece, with a thicker piano accompaniment and ultimately the song closes on another haunting and more dissonant tone cluster.