I have to admit I have not touched my clarinet since the pandemic started until April 11, 2021. I've been trying to convince myself that I've been too busy with other things. That's only partly true but the reality was that I have been grieving. When I put my clarinet together that day, I did my usual warm-ups and started a piano and clarinet composition project. Something kept drawing me away from making much progress on it and I realized that I needed to press record on Audacity and allow whatever needed to come out. After I recorded what I played I felt some of my weight being lifted as I realized that what I just did was a lament for the past year. I have not taken the time to notate. I know it's not studio-quality but I do want to share it.
EnneaMuse: Suffering and Wholeness
Treble Voice and Piano
This 9-song cycle goes through each of the nine enneagram points. The songs explore the suffering and the healing for each point. Songs include One: Perfectly Imperfect, Two: Connections, Three: Ninety Seconds, Four: Deep, Five: Step On Out, Six: Answers, Seven: Come on an Adventure, Eight: Teddy Bear in Combat Boots, Nine: Let There Be. The recordings have Mindy Eschedor on the piano, Andrea Leonard on vocals for songs Three, Seven, and Eight, and yours truly (Sarah McMahill) on One, Two, Four, Five, Six, and Nine. The recordings were originally used for an enneagram workshop that I co-led with Roland Legge in 2021. These songs had their Canadian premier April of 2022 in Kamloops, British Columbia. They were performed by contralto Theresa Takacs and pianist Dimiter Terziev.
Do you want to learn the music and/or get the mp3's? They can be found in my store.
1. The compositions that I did in middle and high school, I wrote by hand. I'm currently notating those compositions into music software.
2. Greenwood Rising
I learned about the Tulsa Race Riot Massacre in 2021. I was (and am) horrified by what happened in 1921. I was appalled to learn that this part of our history was actively hidden from public knowledge. I was part of a multi-church initiative to educate people about it that occurred November of 2021. I knew that I needed to do more than just a workshop. This is a multi-movement piece for SATB chorus and several instruments.
3. I Honor the Place in You
I had gone to the Christine Center March of 2022 for a myofascial release therapy retreat. It was my first time there. The cabin I stayed at had this beautiful cloth hanging with an old poem on it. I was struck with a melody right away and I recorded myself singing it. I'm grateful that I had a regular lined notebook with me and I wrote up a rough draft of the song for solo voice. After I finish notating the solo voice version in my software, I'll be arranging it for SATB chorus.
4. Ho'oponopono Prayer
I learned about the Ho'oponopono Prayer middle of June 2022 and was struck by the power of repeating these phrases: "I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you." Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice for forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s more than the prayer alone; it's a process of making things right in your relationships -- with others, ancestors, the earth, yourself. It’s the act and intention of holding a space for reflection, repentance, forgiveness, and gratitude. I'll be doing one for solo voice and another for SATB chorus.