In an earlier life, I sang with the choir of the Cathedral Church of St Paul on Tremont Street, and one of my choir fellows was Mara Wallingford. At about this time last year, Mara gleefully (I think it fair to employ this adverb) posted that her eight-year-old daughter Emma, in an effort to resist being sent to bed, improvised a song ‒ and Mara posted the text. Almost immediately, I sent to Mara, saying how much I enjoyed the text, and asking if Emma would permit me to set it to my own music. Permission was secured almost immediately. Also immediately, I knew that I wanted to write the piece for a Triad concert, and I wanted it to represent something of a break with the habitual Henning pieces which Triad has sung in the past: much of the Henningmusick we have sung has been on sacred texts, for one thing; and for another, my first thought was to set it for women’s voices. On the latter point, however, as the music came to me, it seemed that it was going to be so much fun to sing, that I wanted in ‒ so I decided instead to set it for men’s choir. Musically, the piece is a fresh application (I think) of “all my usual tricks”: brain-cramping interlocking rhythmic games, a mellifluous homorhythmic cadential refrain, and nearly-canonic imitation.
It Might Happen Today