Year Authored (or revised): 


Instrumentation : 

orchestra, 2 bands, chorus, dancers, electronic tracks, narrators, visuals (film and slides)

Duration (min): 


Text Source/Author: 

Walt Whitman

First Performance: 

December, 1976 - Miller Auditorium, Western Michigan University, Combined bands, orchestras, choirs, and dance groups of the Fine Arts College.

A mammoth multi-media -musical theater work in 6 sections (Prologue, The Sounds, The Land, The People, The Idea, Epilogue) for orchestra, 2 bands, chorus, dancers, electronic tracks, narrators, visuals (film and slides). Any new production of this work would require new visuals representing the current state of the technology. The narrative is entirely from the poetry of Walt Whitman, which is recorded by the narrators on the electronic (CD) tracks. The work is a celebration of America's Bicenntenial in 1976; the majority of the sounds on the electronic tracks are short excerpts from American music of the previous two centuries, the remaining sounds were created in an electronic music studio. The CD for all the sound tracks is intact and available. The chorus does not sing text, but rather specific vowel-consonant combinations to melodies from other american music.most of the live music is not difficult, but the mounting of the production would be a formidable challenge.

Ensemble Type: 

duo or ensemble+audio playback
band/wind ensemble large
brass featured

Commissioned by Western Michigan University for it's bicentennial celebration of our country. A CD recording of the premiere is available.

Internal Fields


tape (audio) fixed media
image projection
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