Last May, I have the beautiful chance to work with the youth choir of São Paulo under the directorship of Tiago Pinheiro, one of the leading choir conductors in Brazil. I wrote a suite of pieces called “Aos Moços,” with poems by the Brazilian poet Cora Coralina. The score called for SATB, vocal electronics, and piano. The suite was beautifully performed, and we had a blast putting it together.
Aos Moços, which translates as “To The Youth,” is one of the most captivating poems about hope and resilience I have read. Its beauty lies in the purity of Coralina’s intuitive writings, which can border on naivité in the word’s best sense. Setting this poem to music, along with three other of her works, had me working in pure flow. Time did not seem to pass; the words were singing to me and jumping off the page. The suite will be recorded professionally by the youth choir in Brazil sometime in the fall. It is also getting a second performance this year by a choral community on September 10th, in Cologne, and September 25th, in Aachen, Germany.