This will be a SATB voicing of my original song "Look Down, Fair Moon" for SSA chorus and piano. To hear the original version, follow this link:
"Look Down, Fair Moon" is a nocturne inspired by poetry contemporary with the American Civil War. In a prayerful tone in imperative tense, Whitman pleads for calm and healing for those who are wounded or fallen.
The image of the moon, the "nimbus" or rain clouds, and the setting of nighttime are all key: during the night, the living recover from the stresses of the day; the rain falling from the sky is a metaphor for the cleansing of water or tears; and of course, the mysterious beaming moon is a source of spiritual nourishment.
Every time we are made aware of the unspeakable carnage of war or terrorism, foreign or domestic, we are compelled to ponder our humanity and our mortality. In the spirit of this elegy, I want to inspire further contemplation and call for the reconciliation and mending of our people.
Look down, fair moon, and bathe this scene,
Pour softly down night's nimbus floods on faces ghastly, swollen, purple,
On the dead, on their backs, with arms toss'd wide,
Pour down your unstinted nimbus, sacred moon.
from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
About Mari Esabel Valverde
Look Down, Fair Moon
Oracle of Spring
Award-winning composer Mari Esabel Valverde has been commissioned by the American Choral Directors Association, Boston Choral Ensemble, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Portland’s Resonance Ensemble, Seattle Men’s and Women’s Choruses, and the Texas Music Educators Association. She has also built a reputation as a singer, educator, adjudicator, and translator. Following six years as a high school classical voice instructor, she spent two years specializing in transgender voice training. Proficient in Spanish, French, and Brazilian Portuguese, she has translated numerous vocal works and documents including a phonetic guide of Ravel’s opera L’Enfant et les Sortilèges.
A native of Texas, she holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the American Choral Directors Association, and Chorus America.
I have commissioned two choral compositions from Mari Esabel Valverde and both were exuberantly received by both singers and audience members. These commission have received multiple additional performances by other choirs across North America. Her suburb attention to text selection, voice leading, harmony and phrasing made the rehearsal process a delight. Ms. Valverde's experience as a professional singer beautifully shapes her exquisite writing for choral voices.
She is a delight to work with in rehearsal settings, is prompt and respectful about communication, and delivers her compositions in a solid and clear score format.