Bíonn Siúlach Scéalach
Gaelic proverb: "Travelers Have Tales to Tell"
SSATBB choir, a cappella
Commissioned for the Princeton HS Concert Choir (Princeton, MN); Mark Potvin, Director
Available through earthsongs choral music (S-373)
Bíonn Siúlach Scéalach tries to capture the exuberance and revelry of a great celebration. At first, solo voices issue an invitation to the dance through a lyric melody, reminiscent of Celtic folksong. Then, as if from a distance, a drum-like pulse emerges, calling other voices forth into the texture. As the music builds in activity and complexity, shouts of “Sláinte!” and “Sláinte chugat!” resound like toasts at a great celebration. Sudden dynamic shifts, contrasting articulations, and shifting polymetric rhythms continue throughout the work, culminating in a dramatic homophonic blessing of “good health” to all.