Journey to God

  • Cantata for SATB Choir and piano
  • Also arranged for SATB choir and orchestra
  • Length: 30’45”

Original text by Carol Koffinke. This composition is a musical depiction of the journey of the spirit from youth to enlightenment. It poses, and ultimately answers, the persistent, existential question that lingers in our soul—Who Am I? Four movements: “Carpe Diem”; “Responsibilities”; “Changes”; “The Light of God”. Requires soprano, tenor and alto soloists.

The First Movement – “Carpe Diem” – explores the elements of youth that oftentimes become a young person’s identity: young, strong, beautiful, with an unconscious belief in immortality.  But there is also a sense of insecurity. Who am I? Do I fit in? The choral passages are light and lively for the most part. The soprano and tenor solos, however, introduce the existential question and explore the insecurity around that question in thought-provoking melodies and harmonies. This first movement lasts 6 min, 13 secs.

The Second Movement – “Responsibility” – explores the phase of life wherein we as humans are consumed with raising families and pursuing our careers. Paradoxically, this phase of life is frenetic; yet, in many ways, it is often monotonous. The choral sections reflect the burdens that are unavoidable coupled with the constant pull of responsibility. There is little time for self-reflection or self-nurturing. This frustration is exemplified within the soprano and tenor duet, wherein the question of whether he sacrifice of giving up ourselves is worth it. The movement ends with an inkling that our spirit isn’t lost, just patiently waiting as the alto soloist offers wise insight. The movement lasts 5 min, 59 secs.

The Third Movement – “Changes” – explores the “dark night of the soul”. In this movement, our identities are stripped away as our children move out and careers come to their inevitable end. We are left empty and without a sense of any identity at all. The music in this movement is dark and harmonies are complex with intermittent bouts of anger and tension. The soprano and tenor solos reflect the sense of uselessness and loss. We are brought to our knees and finally begin asking the question of “Who Am I?” with openness and a true need for the answer.  Soprano and tenor join together in a duet imploring mercy to take away the deep emptiness. Finally, the alto solo offers the insight as to what is happening and the hope of where this pain and angst are heading. The movement lasts 11 mins, 28 secs.

The Fourth Movement – “The Light of God” – provides the insight, joy, and relief as a result of receiving an answer to our lifelong question. We realize we are part of God and connected to all there is. The soprano and tenor sing a duet expressing their soaring spirits. The music is rich, joyful, and expressing great freedom. There is a slow, complex build up at the end as the light of God fills our soul. This movement last 6 mins, 57 secs.