Voices of Broken Hearts


Two versions:
1. SSAA chorus and digitally delayed viola, or
2. SSAA chorus and digitally delayed vibraphone


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The Wellesley College Choir

Lisa Graham, director

The Wellesley College Choir

Lisa Graham, director

Lehigh University Dolce Women's Ensemble
Steven Sametz, director

Choral score, ESC No. 7676, (SSAA divisi, Digitally Delayed Vla or Vib)
Vibraphone Part, ESC No. 7678
Viola part, ESC No. 7677

Program Notes

Voices of Broken Hearts  sets Carl Sandburg’s “Clark Street Bridge” from his collection Chicago Poems (1916).  It is scored for women’s chorus and digitally delayed viola or vibraphone.  The scene Sandburg sets in the poem, a lonely bridge at night with ghostly voices sounding in the air, is portrayed by the softly whispering choir, at times aleatoric, and the use of  digital delay for the obbligato instrument.


Voices of Broken Hearts

DUST of the feet
And dust of the wheels,
Wagons and people going,
All day feet and wheels.

Now. . .
. . Only stars and mist
A lonely policeman,
Two cabaret dancers,
Stars and mist again,
No more feet or wheels,
No more dust and wagons.

Voices of dollars
And drops of blood
. . . . .
Voices of broken hearts,
. . Voices singing, singing,
. . Silver voices, singing,
Softer than the stars,
Softer than the mist.

–Carl Sandburg (1878–1967)
“Clark Street Bridge” from Chicago Poems (1916)