This song for soprano, tenor and piano and violin was originally the fifth movement of my oratorio, eponymously titled This Love Between Us. The text comes from a variety of translations of ancient saint-poet Kabir’s writings, and from the Isa Upanishad.
The original version starts and ends with the same duets between solo soprano and tenor featured in this version. The two singers sing to one another from far across the stage — which, in that moment of ethereal quiet, feels as if they are singing across time and space. The opening duet features Kabir’s original text in Hindi sung by the soprano, in counterpoint with its own English translation, sung by the tenor. And when the duet returns at the end, the languages are switched.
I loved the message in these texts: Our love, our human connection, goes back so far in time. It is our very foundation. To recognize ourselves in one another is truly to remember that connection. We may squabble, but ultimately — we survive together. Or not at all.
Here is the original version, for orchestra, choir and soloists:
Kabir and the Upanishads
The mezzo/violin/piano version of this arrangement was premiered on February 16, 2020 by Amy Fogerson, Vijay Gupta and Reena Esmail, at the home of Barry and Sandy Pressman, in Beverly Hills, CA.