I'll never forget the moment I realized that choral music was my emotional outlet. I was in high school, heart broken by a long-time crush, and found myself seeking solace in William Harris's "Faire is the Heaven." This song has nothing to do with heart break, at least in the way I was experiencing it, but the sound of choral music was like a powerful spell that took all of my intense emotions in the moment and wrung it out like a wet towel, leaving me in a state of peace.
My relationship with choral music had begun. What was once an emotional outlet has become a life-long journey chasing a sound in my head, that I have come close to, but will never attain, like a 'mathematical limit.' This chase is what drives me—there is nothing more perfect than hearing what's in your head in real life. The rare moments in concert where Byrd's "Tristitia et anxietas," or "Ad Dominum" are perfectly sung, technically, with the right voices at the right speed, is indescribable. It is a kind of miracle, as if the meaning of my entire life has been suddenly distilled in this precise moment in time. It's so overwhelming all I want to do is fall to my knees and cry. Thankfully, we drink heavily after each concert—nobody needs to see that.
Byrd Ensemble is where this journey began and will always be at the center of my musical life. While COVID has kept us off the stage, it felt like the right time to commission a piece that reflects how meaningful Byrd Ensemble is to my life. I could not be more happy with Amber Favre's work—a timeless representation of what we do. Thank you Amber Favre, I cannot tell you how meaningful this is to me.
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