The Pole Star

Full Score: PDF
Audio: The Pole Star

Instrumentation: SATB Choir, a cappella
Duration: ca. 3:00
Year of Completion: 2012
Program Notes

The writings of H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) contain vivid images of alien worlds, mythical creatures, and a fascination with the occult. The short story "Polaris" was published in 1920 and describes a man overlooking the golden city of Olathoë. The Pole Star watches over the city "from the same place in the black vault, winking hideously like an insane watching eye which strives to convey some strange message..." As the man observes a battle, the star lulls him to sleep with a whispered song, and eventually he becomes lost as to which world is real and which is a dream.

The text for this work is the poem that Polaris sings to the man near the end of the story. My setting attempts to capture both the quality of a soothing lullaby and the strange, ethereal presence of the Pole Star. The energy of the work is meant to evoke the star slowly rising over the horizon, peaking in the middle and then fading into the distance.