Twin Souls Barry D. Truax

These two choral pieces are arrangements of music from my electroacoustic opera Powers of Two, that explores the symbolism and dynamic tension between various pairs of opposites: the visual and auditory, the real and virtual, male and female, gendered and inverted. At different times in different cultures, the image of “twin souls” has captured some of the same symbolism, whether expressed as an erotic or spiritual desire for union with an “ideal other.” The concept takes on added significance when it is understood in terms of same-sex relationships, as is lyrically expressed by such writers as the 17th century English poet Katherine Philips (“the matchless Orinda”) in odes to her women friends, or the medieval Sufi mystic Rumi in his passionate praise of the dervish Shams i Tabriz. In our own century, Rilke grappled with the loss of the beloved in his First Duino Elegy, hence a requiem in the first piece for the “too young departed”, whether from AIDS or other causes. In the second piece, the transcendant joy derived from a union with the “divine beloved” is expressed again by Philips and in the east coast aboriginal song “We are the stars which sing”. The tape part in the work is derived from resonated breath and singing, as well as Pacific Rim percussion sounds.

  • Year of composition: 1997
  • Genre: Electroacoustics
  • Format: Mixed work
  • Instrumentation: chamber choir and tape
  • Software used: PODX system for sound synthesis and composition
  • Duration of the submitted work: 14:00
  • Publisher: Cambridge Street Publishing
  • Premiere: September 25, 1998, Vancouver, Vancouver Chamber Choir
  • Disc publication: Twin Souls is available on the Cambridge Street Records CD Twin Souls, CSR-CD 0102, performed by the Vancouver Chamber Choir

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