Of One Speech

Composer
Alexander Boostrom
Composer Nationality
American
Composer Date of Birth
1986
Text
Robert Boostrom
Year Composed
2019
Pages
9
Minutes
7:30
Language
English; Latin; Hebrew
Voicing
6 part mixed chorus
Divisi
Yes
Solos
Yes
Extended Techniques
No
Sacred or Secular
Secular
Mood
Inspiring; Dramatic, with dynamic contrasts
Description

On the surface, this piece details the story of the building of the tower of Babel. Beginning with the teamwork and togetherness needed to create something so massive that it would reach the heavens, the piece opens up with the hopefulness and potential within all of us to do such great and powerful things...together.
However, as God steps in to educate the people about staying within their world and capacity, their inability to comprehend the lesson tears them apart and causes divisions so dramatic that they tear down the tower they worked so hard to construct, and instead build walls out of fear. Those walls tear the fabric of the people's unity and leads to warring nations that continue to this day.
Underneath the surface story, there is an allegory to our own condition as humans struggling to understand each other and appreciate each other's condition. That breakdown of communication, just as the introduction of multiple languages, causes fear in the hearts of people and leads to walls and wars and tearing ourselves and each other apart.
The music portrays this by starting with beautiful major seventh chords gradually building in fullness and expanding the range of the choir, suggesting the potential of what we can all do together. However, as God enters and speaks, new languages appear, and an aleatoric section demonstrates the disunity, only gradually uniting within their own languages. As the piece continues, hope slowly returns, with the potential to bridge the gaps and see that, even with different words, there can be unity. The piece ends with a return to the initial construction of the tower again, hoping that this time, we can surpass our own differences.

Group
C4