Look, My Love, To The Stars

Look, My Love, To The Stars is a composition of mine that was like a diamond in the very, very rough.  But like all diamonds in the rough, after enough polishing, it eventually becomes something very special to the person who spent such great time shaping it into something beautiful.

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This particular story begins with a contact I met through my girlfriend, Anna Ciummo.  Anna is a gifted writer of poetry to say the least, and has a host of different connections through local and regional poetry circles.  During a radio interview that Anna participated in and I had the pleasure of being present for, she presented work amongst a panel of poets on a live broadcast.  One of those poets was Annette Hope Billings.  Annette’s style immediately caught my attention: it was vibrant, had a rhyme scheme that I appreciated, and had a fabulous “melodic” texture, amongst other things.  I knew that I would want to collaborate with her in the near future, so after the interviews were completed, I introduced myself, exchanged contact information, and the rest was history.  I asked Annette to compose a poem that had to do with the concept of love and the beauty of the stars.  Her work did not disappoint, and by fall of 2017 I was met with this gem of a text:

When your eyes take in the night,
In search of bearers of true light,
Deep in the darkness find the glow
of stars that shine so you may know,
there suspended in the sky,
lives a love too bright to die.
Look, my love, to the stars.

When it appears I’ve gone away,
celestial lanterns will remain.
Though darkness surely may obscure,
of my presence still be sure
that we won’t ever be apart.
Look, my love, to the stars

Look for my light in the stars,
see they were born in your heart.
And in the night don’t be afraid,
for it’s in darkness stars are made.

May we know in darkest times
the quest of stars is thus to shine.
Any place we’re called to go,
They will guide us with their glow.
No matter what this life may give,
in the light is where we’ll live.
Look, my love, to the stars.

Look for my light in the stars,
see they were born in your heart.
And in the night don’t be afraid,
for it’s in darkness stars are made.

However, after working with the text a bit and tinkering with ideas, I had a mold for what I was looking for.  Yet, I did not feel satisfied with the accompaniment I had written, nor how the piece flowed together from verse to verse.  It just seemed awkward.  I decided to scrap the accompaniment and go with a capella singing, but still found certain chunks of the score to be, well, chunky.  After doodling and doodling to no avail, I retired the piece for a time to work on other ideas with the hopes that the correct inspiration would strike soon.  During this time, I wrote Lullaby of the Plains and began to really find my compositional “groove” again.   After many months, I decided to revisit the piece again and found some success with making things more smooth.  I felt confident in it enough to send it off to my mentor, Dr. Jake Narverud, so that he could give it a look.  He wisely recommended putting an accompaniment back in, and after some personal deliberation, I decided to give it another shot.  I had found great success with the accompaniment of In Flanders Fields, so I thought I might strike gold again.  After only a few short weeks spanning the end of July and early August, 2018, I completed the work Look, My Love, To The Stars and humbly offered it as a wedding present to my old friend from high school, Daniel DeGroff and his new wife, Della.

I am very thankful for Dr. MaryAnn Brillesylper and the students of Discovery Canyon Campus High School for letting me workshop this piece with them as a guest clinician. Breathing life into this composition is a truly thrilling experience for me, and without you, it would not be possible.  You have my undying thanks!

The world premiere of this work will occur in May, 2019!

Dedication:


To my good friends Daniel and Della DeGroff, celebrating their union in marriage, while remembering to always find their love in the stars; October 6, 2018


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