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A song cycle for bass voice, oboe and piano
duration 18:00

In 2006 author Kurt Vonnegut wrote to a group of high school students:

Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

To ‘experience becoming’ is a wonderful expression of what it is to be human. Richard Feynman, a theoretical physicist, wrote that we are:

atoms with consciousness... matter with curiosity...
I...a universe of atoms...
an atom in the universe.

Cosmologist Carl Sagan suggests that as conscious beings ‘We are a way for the universe to know itself’.

This work is a meditation on the connection between the endless expansion of the universe and the ‘becoming’ of a life, from its first breath to its last.

Reflecting on my mother’s slowly fading final years after a full and energetic life, these words, by Alan Lightman from his novel Mr g, ring true:

And the individual atoms, cycled through her body and then cycled through wind and water and soil, cycled through generations and generations of living creatures and minds, will repeat and connect and make a whole out of parts.
Released from their temporary confinement, her atoms slowly spread out and diffused through the atmosphere.

A final breath.
A silent heart.
Still becoming.

Glyn Lehmann - composer

Dedicated to my mum, Eileen
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Download includes: full score, vocal only score, oboe only score, program notes and composer bio.
As the universe expands

I. Prelude

II. As the universe expands

III. Atoms
Atoms scattering
Atoms gathering

IV. A single breath
With a breath
A single breath
A beating heart Becoming
With a breath
The universe expands
Within a life

V. In wonder
A world within a grain of sand Held in the palm of a child’s hand In wonder
As one
(adapted from William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence, 1803)

VI. Create!
Atoms gathering
Awakened by wonder
To paint to play
To sculpt to sing
To dance to draw
To write to make
A world within

VII. Still, becoming
With a breath
A final breath
A silent heart
Still, becoming
Atoms scattering
Atoms gathering
As the universe expands

PO BOX 412
South Australia 5155

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