Music, School of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Music, Major: Music, Under the supervision of Professor Eric Richards. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Aaron Bittman. Distributed under a Creative Commons BY-ND license.

Premiere performance: Friday, April 13, 2012, 5:00 PM, Kimball Recital Hall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Song of the Wind is an original cantata for contralto soloist, chorus, and chamber orchestra. More similar to Carmina Burana than a cantata such as those written by J. S. Bach, musical influences were drawn from such diverse sources as Greek Orthodox chant, minimalism, and New Age popular music. The story of Song of the Wind is drawn from a number of different texts, mostly Eastern and Mid-Eastern in origin, but European texts are represented as well. These texts span a period of time between 3,000 years before the Common Era and the Renaissance, and also include newly written verse. This spiritual cantata follows the journey of Viatoris (Latin for “female traveler”) who quests for an answer to the eternal question, “What is the meaning of life?” The Wind acts as her spirit guide, speaking surprisingly little, and always in a whisper. Viatoris mainly converses with The Voices, which represent her immediate society and often act as a Greek chorus, commenting on the main action and offering further insight.

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