Bond and Free
(A Partsong for SATB Chorus, divisi, a cappella)
My Bond and Free (A Partsong for SATB Chorus, divisi, a cappella) was completed in early April 2012. It is dedicated to the outstanding American choral musician, Rodney Wynkoop (Conductor and Artistic Director of the Choral Society of Durham, Director of University Choral Music, Director of Chapel Music and Professor of the Practice of Music at Duke University).
Approximately four minutes in length, Bond and Free takes its title from the Robert Frost poem by the same name, Bond and Free. The poem was originally published in 1916 as a part of Frost’s third collection of poetry entitled, Mountain Interval. Love (referring to the physical and emotional side of life) and Thought (referring to the intellectual and artistic side of life) are the two aspects of human life that are explored in Mr. Frost’s poem. In my setting of the poem, the world of the piece centers primarily around “G,” with “Love” being cast in the tonal sphere of G Major and “Thought” hovering around the tonal area of G Minor. The harmony becomes more rich and expansive as the composition reaches the climactic fourth stanza of Mr. Frost’s poem. The piece ends quietly in G Major.
Bond and Free (1916)
Love has earth to which she clings
With hills and circling arms about-
Wall within wall to shut fear out.
But Thought has need of no such things,
For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings.
On snow and sand and turf, I see
Where Love has left a printed trace
With straining in the world’s embrace.
And such is Love and glad to be
But Thought has shaken his ankles free.
Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom
And sits in Sirius’ disc all night,
Till day makes him retrace his flight,
With smell of burning on every plume,
Back past the sun to an earthly room.
His gains in heaven are what they are.
Yet some say Love by being thrall
And simply staying possesses all
In several beauty that Thought fares far
To find fused in another star.