Music Well – Dosia McKay, Composer, Painter, Writer

Reflections on Art and Life

Dark Sister, Sing from Rubble Becomes Art

Here is the recording of the premiere of Dark Sister Sing from Rubble Becomes Art, a triptych of art songs commissioned by Kate Steinbeck and Pan Harmonia. This performance took place last November in Asheville and I am very saddened that this year’s performances in Brevard and Raleigh were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first movement is a setting of a poem by Sally Atkins “Dark Sister, Sing”.

Dark Sister, sing to me
Sing a song of longing
To see beneath the surface
Rubble of neglect
Human hunger for bread
And kindness.

Dark Sister, sing to me
A song of sacred rage
To shatter the walls
Of fear and ignorance
Refuse the bitter cup
Of violence.

Sing to us, Dark Sister
Sing a song of sadness
Then let us lick
With our own tongues
The wounds of poverty
And privilege.

Dark Sister, sing to us
Sing a song of healing
Offer prayers to Earth and Sky
In the old language of humility
In the rhythms of breath
And seasons.

Sing then to me, Dark Sister
Sing to me of wisdom
A thousand ways to listen
To stones and mountains
To the teachings of the trees
And to each other.

Sing through me, Dark Sister
A song of reparation
Teach me again
The ancient songs of welcome
The chants that open hearts
To the stranger.

Dark Sister
Make of these words
A ceremony of forgiveness
In the beauty of the singing
May we find ourselves holy
And fall in love
With the world again.

Brittnee Siemon, Mezzo-Soprano
Kate Steinbeck, Flute
Rosalind Buda, Bassoon
Amy Brucksch, Guitar


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