In 2009, I was singing with OVation – the small ensemble of One Voice Mixed Chorus – and we were looking for new repertoire. I decided that I would really like to be able to write something original for us to sing, so I set about searching for a text… and had to look no further than our own chorus. One Voice member and award-winning poet Kate Lynn Hibbard agreed to let me set her poem, “The Shape of Change,” to music; it was an exciting first for us both. Since then, OVation has performed The Shape of Change multiple times, and the full chorus has performed it twice.
Kate Lynn explains her poem:
“The Shape of Change,” which appears in my first book, Sleeping Upside Down, was written in response to Wallace Stevens’s “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,” where he writes “Two things of opposite natures seem to depend/On one another, as a man depends/On a woman…This is the origin of change.” …. I imagine a world where we honor all kinds of love, where we recognize that likeness does not mean sameness, where change is not an either/or proposition but more like a spiral: “not a line/But a circle, apple of light that turns/Through time…”
THE SCORE: SATB, a cappella. The piece follows the beautiful contours of Kate Lynn’s poetry, providing continuous opportunities for nuanced singing and emotional impact.