Mari Esabel Valverde
/ Fort Worth, TX
Member since April 2018
Award-winning composer and singer Mari Esabel Valverde has been commissioned by the American Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Seattle Men’s and Women’s Choruses, and Boston Choral Ensemble among others and has appeared with Dallas Chamber Choir, Vox Humana, and Exigence Vocal Ensemble (Detroit). Her works are published by earthsongs, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Walton Music and self-published. A translator, she is fluent in French and Spanish and studies Brazilian Portuguese and Swedish. She has translated Messiaen’s cantata La Mort du Nombre and Ravel’s opera L’Enfant et les Sortilèges among other vocal works and documents from French to English. She holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her teachers include Tim Mahr, Justin Merritt, Philip Lasser, Narcis Bonet, David Conte, and David Garner. For more information, please visit MariValverde.com.
Political, sensual, and neoromantic. I am a self-proclaimed "Frenchy." Tonal with at least some counterpoint, and for me, dissonance is very purposeful and is not to be overindulged. The success of any collaboration will depend on the text selected. As a transgender, Latina composer, the prospect of setting poetry by women, LGBTQ folk, religious minorities, and/or persons of color is very exciting to me. I am privileged to have a working relationship with the trans, two-spirit, disabled, queer, mixed race poet Amir Rabiyah (AmirRabiyah.com). When composing for the voice, I put great care into setting a text. Before drawing a single notehead, I memorize the text. I sing it and sketch the composition with attention to articulation and breath. My goal is to honor the text by ensuring clarity and space for the words and to extend its meaning in melody and harmony. I especially love composing vocal works with acoustic instrumentation. I have written songs with piano, strings, harp, guitar, trumpet, bass clarinet, saxophone, and even taiko! I cannot wait to add more instruments to the list.
Look Down, Fair Moon
SATB chorus and piano
2 · Medium Easy
This will be the SATB arrangement of my original composition for SSA chorus and piano: https://soundcloud.com/mevalverde/look-down-fair-moon.
"Look Down, Fair Moon" is a nocturne inspired by poetry contemporary with the American Civil War. In a prayerful tone, Whitman pleads for calm and healing for those who are wounded or fallen. The mysterious, beaming moon is our 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 such elegy, I want to inspire further introspection and call for the reconciliation and mending of our people.
5 spots left
Aug. 1st 2019
Listen to works by Mari Esabel Valverde
The Cloths of Heaven
SATB chorus and piano or harp and string ensemble (available for SSA chorus)
“But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet.”
—William Butler Yeats
"The Cloths of Heaven" was composed during my first summer at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France as a composition assignment. A year later, it was premièred by the St. Olaf Choir and became my first published work, now available through earthsongs: S341 and S414 . The choral-orchestral version of this work was premièred at the Oregon Bach Festival in 2011 by the Strangeland Family Youth Choral Academy under the direction of Anton Armstrong.
SATB chorus and guitar or cello
“I wish maps would be without borders & that we belonged to no one & to everyone at once.”
"Border Lines" was composed for Adams State University's choral concert series "An Immigrant's Tale: Hopes, Dreams, and Fears in an Uncertain Time." In collaboration with Harlem-based Afro-Latina poet Yesenia Montilla, this work is born out of empathy for immigrants to the United States who have been separated from their families in the spirit of xenophobia. Her words call out the arbitrary nature of geopolitical borders and implore all of us to unify at our roots in our common humanity. The music is inspired in meter and melody by Central American folk song; and the guitar portrays the undulations of "el río" as the narrative unfolds, expressing a clear yearning for belonging.
Oracle of Spring
SATB chorus a cappella
“May they hope? sing to them now, thy cuckoo, thy cuckoo, and again cuckoo, cuckoo.”
—Alfred Baskerville after Goethe
The "Oracle" is a lively bird—very active in announcing the arrival of spring through its song. Madrigal-like in style, contemporary in feeling, this piece is a fine addition to the seasonal literature befitting spring. Up to date, "Oracle of Spring" is the second of three songs I have composed for the International Orange Chorale of San Francisco, now published in their choral series with Santa Barbara Music Publishing: SBMP 1081.
Look Down, Fair Moon
SA chorus (div.) and piano
“On the dead, on their backs, with arms toss’d wide, pour down your unstinted nimbus, sacred moon.”
"Look Down, Fair Moon" is a nocturne inspired by poetry contemporary with the American Civil War. In a prayerful tone and imperative tense, Whitman pleads for calm and healing for those who are wounded or fallen. The mysterious, beaming moon is our 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 such elegy, I want to inspire further introspection and call for the reconciliation and mending of our people.