This children's musical presents creation stories from various traditions. It was commissioned by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, IN and Music Director Susan Swaney. The concept for the show was largely developed by Director Clare Hammoor, who also wrote the lyrics, designed the set and puppets, and directed the choreography. During the rehearsals, he gave the children a framework whereby they could develop much of the choreography themselves.
I wanted to write a score that would have a fairly simple but "catchy" vocal part that the children could learn fairly easily, but with a very full-sounding and colorful orchestration for the accompanying chamber ensemble of flute, violin, cello, piano, and percussion. For the percussion parts, I used a wide palette of sounds to create various colors. In the Tiamat movement, I used the ocean drum to evoke the sound of crashing waves. Pangu is an Asian deity, so I chose instruments that would evoke this tradition, for example bamboo wind chimes and Chinese drums. Elohim comes from the Jewish tradition, so I was able to draw on my joyful experiences playing in Klezmer bands, which explains why the accompaniment in this movement sounds like dance music. The Elohim music is colored by a scale that uses the augmented second (which many people will associate with Jewish or middle eastern music.)
I am deeply grateful to everyone who brought their ideas and talent to this production - it was a real collaboration on many levels, and my music was just one part of the whole. Special thanks go to Assistant Directors Robin Pyle and Nell Krahnke, and stage managers Scott Hogsed and Robert Gonyea, whose talents and efforts definitely went above and beyond (and to either side of) the call of duty.
Clare Hammoor, Director and Lyricist
Children of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington
Alain Barker, flute
Kit Boulding, violin
Thomas Smith, cello
Yeji Yoon, piano
Colleen Haas and Amy Smith, percussion
Susan Swaney, conductor