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Clear Things May Not Be Seen

Clear Things May Not Be Seen was composed during 2017 and 2018. It is scored for two soprano soloists, string quartet, clarinet, bass clarinet, marimba and vibraphone. The lyrics are drawn from three poems by the American author Conrad Aiken (1889 – 1973): Miracles; and poems XCII and LXXXIX from his epic cycle Time in the Rock.

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Becker’s performing experience spans nearly all of the musical disciplines where percussion is found.

Includes three 72 page spiral-bound scores and eight 12×18 folded booklet parts.

Clear Things May Not Be Seen was composed during 2017 and 2018. It is scored for two soprano soloists, string quartet, clarinet, bass clarinet, marimba and vibraphone. The lyrics are drawn from three poems by the American author Conrad Aiken (1889 – 1973): Miracles; and poems XCII and LXXXIX from his epic cycle Time in the Rock.

Text by Conrad Aiken, selected and edited by Bob Becker

(from Time in the Rock, Poems XCII and LXXXIX; and Miracles) Used by permission of Oxford University Press

To the wild night which everywhere awaits you and the deep darkness full of sounds
to the deep terror in which shines for a moment
a single light, far off, which is suddenly quenched this is the meaning for which you seek a phrase this is your phrase.

Into the gulf between bellsound and waiting and bellsound and then the unfilled silence which sets a term to time
into the void the opening of the eye
into the eye the entrance of wild light

and the slow forgetting of the night the dreams shifted from left to right the hand moved
the cloud broken by the sun

the light broken by rain
the sea broken by pouring water

into that nameless space while the hand yet is still let the division come
let the pure separation come

let the division come
in this serene bewilderment this leaving of the half known for the half known before there is conceiving or believing
or with self knowledge the eyes are done or the hands remember each other
while yet our south and north are sleeping let us both stay and go forth,
let this be our home, our keeping.

Twilight is spacious, near things in it seem far, And distant things seem near.
Now in the green west hangs a yellow star. And now across old waters you may hear

The profound gloom of bells among still trees, Like a rolling of huge boulders beneath seas.

Now, unless persuaded by searching music Which suddenly opens the portals of the mind, We guess no angels,
And are contented to be blind.
Let us blow silver horns in the twilight,
And lift our hearts to the yellow star in the green, To find perhaps, if, while the dew is rising,
Clear things may not be seen.

Delivery Method

Print Copy, PDF Download, Print & PDF Versions

Performance Type

Chamber, Mixed Ensemble, 6+ Players