Protect (2014) for Wind Ensemble [8:30]
I. May The Lord
II. He Who Dwells
~ A speech transcription of Psalms 20 and 91
~ Third in the Psalm Series
~ 11 X 17 score and set of 34 parts
To my parents:
Thank you for praying Scripture over my life. May He give you the desire of your heart.
What is a speech transcription? A speech transcription is a musical composition that brings poetry to life without words. Although it is instrumental, the melodies are not simply an abstract representation of the text, but a literal transcription of the pitches and rhythms of a piece of poetry as it would be spoken aloud. To that end, a variety of irregular and mixed meters is often necessary.
Program Notes: Protect is a speech transcription of Psalms 20 and 91 (NIV 1984). Psalm 20 is especially significant to me because my mother always told my brother and me that it was her prayer for us. In honor of this, I used a tune she made up when I was a child as the basis for the accompaniment in the first movement, which is entitled May The Lord. The movement, a prayer for God’s blessing and protection, is characterized by an atmosphere of serenity, interspersed with moments of passionate pleading and joyous celebration. Movement II, He Who Dwells, is based on Psalm 91, which is often referred to as the “Soldier’s Psalm.” It opens with piccolo, snare, and bass drum in a march-like style, a texture that is revisited several times throughout the movement. As the psalm declares an unwavering confidence in God’s protection, rapid meter changes, sharp articulations, and chromatic melodies lead to an explosive climax. The slow tempo and quiet mood of the first movement returns for the final three verses of the psalm, which are the Lord’s promise to rescue those who love Him – an answer to the prayer in Psalm 20. However, this time elements of the march-like texture emerge as the contrasting musical ideas combine. The two movements are played consecutively with no pause in between.