Map of form built around two main sketch elements in the upper and lower halves of the sheet. In the upper half, a grand staff notated in black and red with additional highlighted colors. The numbers 1-11 in pencil above correspond to sections on the staff divided by measure lines. Each section contains a discrete collection of pitches, some also marked with text from Dickinson's poem. Above the grand staff is a single treble staff ruled and notated in blue ink with a sequence of pitch progressions above in red ink. In the lower half, a horizontal line numbered 0-14 and marked with the poetic text marking certain secitons, with circular graphic elements below in various colors. Above each section graphic representations of the musical texture (dots for pizzicato, intertwining lines for counterpoint, note stems and flags to denote rhythmic progressions). 280 x 430 mm.
Photographic colour copy of a graphic sketch of the contrapuntal and rhythmic progression of the "Bind me" section, with poem by Wallace Stevens in manuscript below. 280 x 430 mm.
All worn and creased; some staining; edges frayed and with some tears. Rise Chanting, the final movement of a four-movement work entitled Sun Threads, was premiered in Urbana, Illinois on 18 April 2002 by the Alexander String Quartet.
"The music opens with a short introduction, which encodes the complete Dickinson poem such that there is a chord, note, or motive for each word of her poem. This is followed by an aggressive and percussive section ("Bind me - "), where playful pizzicato escapades fire up ardently and then ebb down into the third section ("I can still sing - "), which is elegant and lyrical. Here, beautiful lines are sung by duos. The fourth section ("Banish - my mandolin, Strikes true within - Slay - ") is determined, energetic. It is at times animated as well as bold, brash and punchy and you will hear Emily Dickinson's mandolin. The fifth section ("and my Soul shall rise, Chanting to Paradise - Still thine.") is sublime elevated earnest. The coda recalls the perfume of the third section and gently closes the piece with mellifluous, glowing, and shimmering music." The composer's program notes
"The music of Augusta Read Thomas ... is majestic, it is elegant, it is lyrical, it is "boldly considered music that celebrates the sound of the instruments and reaffirms the vitality of orchestral music." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Born in Glen Cove, New York, Thomas was appointed University Professor of Composition at the University of Chicago in 2011. University Professors are selected for internationally recognized eminence in their fields as well as for their potential for high impact across the University. Thomas became the 16th person ever to hold a University Professorship. Additionally, she was the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) from May 1997 through June 2006, a residency that culminated in the premiere of Astral Canticle - one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music. During her residency with the CSO, under the direction of Daniel Barenboim, Thomas not only premiered nine commissioned works, but also founded, along with Cliff Colnot, and curated the MusicNOW series. In addition to Barenboim, Thomas's music has been championed by other leading conductors including Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Oliver Knussen, Seiji Ozawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonard Slatkin, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, Christoph Eschenbach, Ken-David Masur, William Boughton, Vimbayi Kaziboni, Ludovic Morlot, and Xian Zhang. Her music has been commissioned by leading ensembles and organizations around the world including: Love Songs (Chanticleer); Chanting to Paradise (NDR [German Radio] Orchestra); Song in Sorrow (The Cleveland Orchestra); Orbital Beacons, Aurora, In My Sky at Twilight, Ceremonial, Carillon Sky, Words of the Sea, Trainwork, Tangle, and Astral Canticle (Chicago Symphony Orchestra); Gathering Paradies (New York Philharmonic); Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun (Santa Fe Opera in association with San Francisco Opera and 7 other opera houses); Far Past War (The Washington Choral Arts Society); Sun Dance (Indianapolis Symphony); Prayer Bells (Pittsburgh Symphony); Bells Ring Summer (La Jolla Chamber Music Society); Galaxy Dances, and Cello Concerto (National Symphony); Violin Concerto #3 (Radio France and the BBC Orchestra); Helios Choros I (Dallas Symphony); Helios Choros II (London and Boston Symphony Orchestras); Helios Choros III (Orchestre de Paris); Pulsar (BBC); Terpsichore's Dream (Utah Symphony); Canticle Weaving (Los Angeles Philharmonic); and Cantos for Slava (ASCAP Foundation).
From 1993 to 2001, Thomas was an assistant professor, then associate professor of composition at the Eastman School of Music, and from 2001 until 2006 she was the Wyatt Professor of Music at Northwestern University. She taught for many years at the Tanglewood Music Festival and at the Aspen Music Festival. Frequently, Thomas undertakes short-term residencies in colleges, universities, and festivals across the United States and in Europe.
Thomas studied composition with Jacob Druckman at Yale University, with Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern University, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University (1991-94) and a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College (1990-91), and often teaches composition at Tanglewood. Thomas is Vice President for Music, The American Academy of Arts and Letters; member of the Board of Directors of The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc.; member of the Board of Directors of the Koussevitzky Foundation; member of the Board of Directors of the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University; and member of the Conseil Musical de la Foundation Prince Pierre de Monaco.
She was on the Board of Directors of the American Music Center for 11 years from 2000 to 2011; Chair of the Board of the American Music Center, a volunteer position, from 2005 to 2008; on the board of the ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) for many years; on the boards of several chamber music groups; and was Director of the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood in 2009.
In 2013, Nimbus Records embarked on a project to record her complete works and has released 8 CDs to date; 89 CDs containing her music have been released by commercial record companies.
Thomas is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences." The composer's website. (Inventory #: 34961)