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As Adam Early in the Morning

By Shase Leland Hernandez

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Choir, SATB - Intermediate
Composed by Shase Leland Hernandez. 21st Century. 8 pages. Published by SLH Music (S0.20784).

Item Number: S0.20784

“I was immediately struck by the tight form and structure of this piece when I first played through it, and it was further convincing to hear it performed. The cascading “mm” refrain really holds it together, and I admire the restraint and willingness to take your time -- not selling this text, but serving it.”-An Anonymous Judges Comments While the text is clearly written from the perspective of the biblical figure Adam it was my intention through my original solo voice setting to dispel the male-centric message and instead refocus it on Eve. This time, however, I strayed even further from the male-centric viewpoint of the text. I thought of the poem instead as "world-centric" or "human-centric."In the opening, I imagined angels (or the earth or universe) attempting to awaken Adam. They hum to him and whisper his name to which they eventually sing the phrase, “Behold me where I pass, hear my voice, approach.” Much like a soft proclamation of their “holy” status (granted I do not mean this in such a strict biblical sense as it would be hard to connect Whitman with any sort of divine being). Here begins, however, my attempt to prevent the song from really being about Adam or Eve. Since the females sing this line it is almost as though Eve is proclaiming this phrase and yet later when it reappears the men sing it and so in this way I have ensured that both “Adam” and “Eve” proclaim this line.This piece is treated as something of a fantasia to allow the text to express a multitude of messages and meanings with a recurring ritornello in “Adam” to help bind the piece together. The poem ends with the line, "Be not afraid of my body." To me, this is a reflection of mankind and that we should not be afraid of each other and as such the men and women sing this line in unison, decentralizing the original intent of the poem.

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