River of silence, opus 110b (2020)
A setting for voice and cello of the following passage, ‘On Death’, from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. The musical setting is dense, dramatic and fast-paced. Regardless of the theme of the work (or perhaps beacuse of the theme of the work), the text and the music are quite exultant, defiant and positive. The song is one of a number of settings of texts from The Prophet in the opus 110 set. It may be performed by mezzo-soprano or other low voice singer.
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
© Andrew Schultz, 2020.