Upon The Heights




Year Composed:



Originally Played By:

SATB (divisi), with Piano

About the Work

My composition of "Upon The Heights" by Yone Noguchi was rooted in my time singing in my university's chamber choir and inspired by Jake Runestad's "Come To The Woods". I wanted to pull out the story from the words and use the piano accompaniment to drive that, the sense of adventure and victory, forward between the moments of the serene sound of the a cappella voices.


And victor of life and silence,

I stood upon the Heights; triumphant,

With upturned eyes, I stood,

And smiled unto the sun, and sang

A beautifully sad farewell unto the dying day.

And my thoughts and the eve gathered

Their serpentine mysteries around me,

My thoughts like alien breezes,

The eve like a fragrant legend.

My feeling was that I stood as one

Serenely poised for flight, as a muse

Of golden melody and lofty grace.

Yea, I stood as one scorning the swords

And wanton menace of the cities.

The sun had heavily sunk into the seas beyond,

And left me a tempting sweet and twilight.

The eve with trailing shadows westward

Swept on, and the lengthened shadows of trees

Disappeared: how silently the songs of silence

Steal into my soul! And still I stood

Among the crickets, in the beauteous profundity

Sung by stars; and I saw me

Softly melted into the eve. The moon

Slowly rose: my shadow on the ground

Dreamily began a dreamy roam,

And I upward smiled silent welcome.

Text by:

Yone Noguchi (1875-1947)