CURTIS BRYANT – STEPHEN BLUESTONE – HOLINESS EVERYWHERE
Holiness Everywhere – music by Curtis Bryant, words by Stephen Bluestone
“It is deep, layered, and beautiful music…”
“A beautiful contemporary paraphrasing of the 12th century poem… It is as if Yehudah Halevi had
written it today…”
(Danny Maseng, Chazzan, Temple Israel of Hollywood)
Holiness Everywhere is the first of a number of collaborative works by composer Curtis Bryant and American poet Stephen Bluestone. While serving as composer in residence at a Fulton County arts magnet institution, Bryant selected four verses of Bluestone’s adaptation of the Kvod’cha Maley Olam by 12th century Jewish mystic Yehudah Halevi (1075-1141). In the Spanish-born physician and poet’s pilgrimage across North Africa to the Holy Land, Halevi discovers how in his search for God it is God who has all along been in search of him.
Holiness Everywhere is composed for choir SATB with keyboard accompaniment and optional violin obligato. The world premiere performances were given by the Tri-Cities Concert Choir, directed by John LaForge in 2001. Additional 2001 performances were given by the Mercer University Singers under the direction of Stanley Roberts, and Holiness Everywhere received a New York City premiere at the Park Avenue Synagogue on a Kol Todah (Voices of Thanks) program conducted by Neil Robinson in November, 2002.
Sheet music for Holiness Everywhere is published by Transcontinental Music Publications, New York (Catalog #993253). The work continues to be performed widely throughout the United States by concert choirs and by congregations of many faiths.
Holiness Everywhere, performed at the Park Avenue Synagogue
Introductory remarks by Danny Maseng (Temple Israel of Hollywood)
|O Nameless, in what place?
In what temple? In what text?
And how not? And where not?
In what other world than this?
Visible in all that’s seen,
close at hand, yet far away;
among the angels, in the air,
unknowable, yet known.
|How glorious the source,
so hidden, yet so manifest,
that sustains, that keeps us all,
one kingdom, one creator.
I, too, have sought for You,
have traveled out to find You,
yet, always, on my way,
encounter You in search of me.–– Stephen Bluestone