We stand a mystery to every other–
Yet, we were the same at our first cry 
We will be the same ten feet under
Where all will lie silent and austere
No longer a people torn asunder

Imagine if wars would wait– 
All to softly kiss a child’s knee.
Often facing against each other,
until we can see one another
How will we stand? One people, together?

Think back to before 
we forged the chains we wear–
We pray for tomorrow’s children,
As we all dream the same reverie,
To play in open fields without ashes
And our world a loving symmetry

Aisling is my first work for chorus, based on the poem of the same name by Margaret Siu. The Irish feminine name Aisling (pronounced ay-shling) means “dream” or “vision” and can also refer to a form of Irish poetry. I interpreted Siu’s poem as a dream for humanity, a vision that one day we will all stand together despite our storied past and differences. In the chorus, I focused on the dense eight-voice harmonies, only finding true resolution in the final chord.

Huge thank-you to the Inversion Ensemble for mentoring me on the piece and their beautiful interpretation of Aisling.

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