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We Wear the Mask (2019) for Tenor, Flute, Bassoon, Viola, Percussion, & Piano (Full Score + Parts)

Digital Sheet Music

By Brian Raphael Nabors

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Piano Accompaniment, Flute, Bassoon, Viola, Hand Percussion - Advanced - Digital Download
Composed by Brian Raphael Nabors. 21st Century, Contemporary Classical. Score, Set of Parts. 39 pages. Published by Raphael Press (S0.810225).

Item Number: S0.810225

We Wear the Mask was written for Castle of Our Skins for the 2019 IAM A MAN Celebration, encapsulating the essence of the very famous civilrights declaration for human dignity. It was also my second gift to COOS astheir composer-in-residence for the 2018-19 season. The piece highlights thevery famous poem of Paul Laurence Dunbar, We Wear the Mask, in which Dunbarsheds light on the very painful act of having to pretend to have a very stableand jovial disposition in order to appease your oppressors. It refers to themany situations that black Americans and many other people of color must bearin order to survive in a society, that in many ways, has been constructed toneglect them.


I chose this textwith the accompanying theme of I AM A MAN because of the sheer strengthvictims of racism and bigotry display in the very face of oppression. They fightand maintain dignity by having the courage to press on for the sake of theirchildren and families. In the work, there is a striking contrast between the sweetnature that the "mask" portrays and the sense of disgust the persontruly feels. The timbres are decorated by a looming theme that comes and goesthroughout the ensemble, presenting this "mask." My intention was to capturethe conflicting emotions that Dunbar has so beautifully laid out in this poemof unfortunate reality.

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