The Lake Isle
SATB, acoustic guitar, piano, string quartet
Lyrics: W.B. Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
Guitar is one of my absolute favorite instruments, and one that is perhaps rarely used in choral music. The instrument can sometimes be too soft to be heard properly in a choral context – but amplified, it can work beautifully. I also love the sound of guitar and piano doubling each other, which happens a lot throughout this piece.
Based on a guitar groove improvised by frequent collaborator Kristian Kvalvaag, The Lake Isle was commissioned by a consortium of American university choirs, assembled by University of Southern California’s Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe.