Then I Awoke Again


  • Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, Violin (1 or 2), Viola (1 or 2), Cello (1 or 2), Bass (1 or 2)
  • Duration: 15 min.
 MIDI realization



The Atlantic, Sagres, Portugal

"The Wanderer" is an anonymous eleventh-century poem found in the Exeter Book. Scholars consider it among the greatest poems of the Anglo-Saxon age. It speaks of a world of harsh weather, decay and ruin and the steadfastness of heavenly comfort in the face of such torment. To set fragments from the text I turned to my own experience, translating wind sounds I have recorded into the work's harmonies. Among the winds presented are those of the ruins of Muhammad Tughlaqs palace in Delhi, the desolation of the Turfan Depression; the Mintaka Pass in the high Karakorams, used by Silk Road traders; and the pilgrimage circuit of Xiahe, in Gansu province, China. In using my own wanderings to locations contemporary to the original text, I hope to enact the environment of the poem's wanderer as well as lend a certain realism to the protagonist's plight. By using the original Anglo-Saxon, I hope to emphasize the sense of dislocation that effects any wanderer whether traveller, pilgrim or refugee.


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