Many Waters sets texts from the Song of Solomon (KJV) as a meditation on love and yearning. The texts chosen describe the yearning each lover has for the other, with a refrain that speaks to the yearning’s insatiable and inextinguishable nature. The music seeks to capture this incredible passion. Tightly-knit harmonies slip and slide around melodic lines in fluid meter changes, becoming entangled in a sea of haunting dissonance as passions rise and fall. The work is as much a lament as it is a celebration of this passion, showing the joy and fulfillment love may bring contrasted with a bittersweet yearning when love is unrequited and unfulfilled.
Many Waters text excerpted from the Song of Solomon (KJV)
Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is
strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of
fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a
man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be
Song of Solomon 5:2
I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh,
saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head
is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
Song of Solomon 5:6
I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was
gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find
him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.