The Kallyope Yell

Composer
Jonathan David
Composer Nationality
American
Composer Date of Birth
1965
Text
Vachel Lindsay
Year Composed
2008
Minutes
8:30
Difficulty
5 (Challenging)
Language
English
Voicing
8 part mixed chorus
Divisi
Yes
Solos
Reciter
Instruments
Percussion
Extended Techniques
Yes
Sacred or Secular
Secular
Description

Vachel Lindsay uses the circus as an allegory for the modern world in all its raucous, democratic beauty. Significantly for him, though, the circus also has an orderly flow of events. Indeed, while the lion may roar, he is nonetheless tamed. In my setting, the percussion (two players) provides its characteristic clash and bang, but also a usually steady motoric pulse. The choral harmonies are advanced and often tonally ambiguous, yet they are “civilized” by their presentation in a theme and variations form known as a chaconne. For the most part, the chorus’ text is derived from the steam-powered sound world of the titular instrument: “Willy-willy-willy-wah-hoo, “sizz-fizz,” “ hoot-toot,” “whoop-whoop.”

Group
C4
Performances
C4: 2008 Jun 7 (Hit It), cond. Cheah (World Premiere)