Where Everything Is Music

Duration approximately 6’30.

 Performed by musica intima

One of my first choral pieces was a setting of this gorgeous poem by Rumi. I love it to death. It has a very free harmonic language that, to this day, I look back on and become somewhat mystified at myself.


Poetry by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Don’t worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn’t matter.
We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world’s harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.
This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive
from a slow and powerful root
that we can’t see.

Stop the words now.

Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.