“Snow Buntings,” a wintry new SSA work by Composer Diane Laura Rains
Fae by Nature Music’s
Aviana Collection presents a new composition by Diane Laura Rains for Boychoir or other SSA choir, Hammered Dulcimer, Celesta, Bowed Psaltry, Sleigh Bells and Shruti Box.
On a crystal cold day in deep midwinter, when even the north wind’s icy tongue was silent and humble, I stood beside white acres of sleeping farmland and marveled. Across a quilted landscape of glittering snow, nothing moved but my own rhythmic puffs of frosted breath. It was a moment of pure, unbroken calm and beauty. I had stepped into a diamond world, a precious, foreign realm.
Suddenly, a small flurry of motion at the snowfield’s edge caught my attention. I thought at first that a burst of breeze had stirred the featherlight snow. But in an instant, a cloud of white birds with black-tipped wings leapt up and poured into the air like a genie from his bottle. And I was granted a wish that I didn’t know I had desired.
Magical creatures! Buntings of snow!
Snow Buntings is a crisply evocative choral composition for SSA choir by composer Diane Laura Rains. This piece explores the chilly and mysterious lives of an iconic winter bird, the Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis). In summer, Buntings breed in high Arctic regions around the world, farther north than any other songbird. All too quickly, winter returns to the Arctic, and with it, deep snow and frigid temperatures as low as -60ºF. Snow Buntings cannot survive such harsh conditions, so in autumn they migrate thousands of miles south to wintering grounds. There they gather in large, acrobatic flocks, creating balletic murmurations above snow-covered farm fields.
The bright yet haunting music and poetic lyrics of SNOW BUNTINGS focus on the plight of Arctic species at risk from global warming and other pressures. This lovely song implores us to take responsibility for the role we play in the drama of climate change, so that Arctic animals can survive and thrive.
Precious Arctic! Precious Buntings of snow!
Voicing & Accompaniment: Boychoir or other SSA choir, Hammered Dulcimer, Celesta, Bowed Psaltry, Sleigh Bells, and Shruti Box
Age: Youth, High School, College, Adult
Available score versions:
• Open (full) score = SSA, with each voice and each instrument on a separate staff
• Condensed (accompanist) score = Melody only, on one small staff; each instrument on a separate staff
View lyrics and high-res score preview, and listen to demo: www.faebynature.com/choral.html