The Sea

I wrote this piece in 2016 for my father's 55th birthday, who wanted my three siblings and me to sing something together for him.

The piece is based on parts of the text "Song for all seas, all ships" by Walt Whitman. Ralph Vaughan-Williams also used this text for his Sea Symphony. The text is about the sea, sailing, freedom in the vastness of the sea and adventure.

The piece is written in fast 6/8 time, which symbolizes the excitement of the adventure of sailing as well as the turbulent sea. A wave-like melody develops over it, making you feel the swaying of the ship. In the hymn-like middle section however, the majesty of a large ship with full set sails comes into its own.

The initial motif then returns and leads to the climax of the piece, where the sea itself is sung about with the words “Behold, the sea!”.

Excerpt from the "Song for all seas, all ships", by Walt Whitman (1819-1892):

After the seaship, after the whistling winds,

after the white-gray sails taut to their spars and ropes.

Behold, the sea, its heaving breast

and see the ships with their white sails!

Below a myriad, myriad waves hastening,

lifting up their necks.

A motley procession with many a fleck of foam

following the stately and rapid ship, in the wake following.

Behold, the sea, its heaving breast!

And on its limitless breast, the ships,

see, where their white sails bellying in the wind,

see, the steamers coming and going,

steaming in or out of port.

Choir: SATB

Length: 4 min

Ensemble Mörth Family, 2016