Now and Ever, Ever So
An a cappella setting for mixed chorus of a poem by Scott Cairns.

Duration: 6' 15"
Difficulty: 4/5

Click here to view score.
Voicing/Instrumentation
VOICES

Mixed Chorus (a cappella, divisi, no solos)
Notes
“In this new piece, both poet and composer make optimum use of the metaphors of light and darkness.” (Michael Capps, from the program notes for the premiere performance)

"Now and Ever, Ever So, to words by Scott Cairns, begins with the upper voices, the sopranos unfolding a melodic line over a held note in the altos. The word “ever” is characterised by a ‘Scotch-snap’ rhythm (the first part of the rhythm being shorter than the second). This is interwoven into the fabric of the score, amid rich blocks of sound created by expansive chords, and the work culminates in an exquisitely gentle 'Amen'." (Joanna Wyld, from the liner notes to the 2015 recording Let Beauty Be Our Memorial)
Text
Now and Ever, Ever So
Scott Cairns (1954- )

For all our weeping, still the sun
has filled our morning with a grace
that promises in time an end
to this and every darkness.

Now and ever, ever so.
Now and ever, ever so.
 
For every season dimmed by fear
a comfort comes to raise the sight,
so that the gaze might greet the fair,
consoling kiss of light.

 Now and ever, ever so.
Now and ever, ever so.
 
He is the light that heals, the very light
that fills all things with life.
The very light endowing each with sight
sufficient for our night.

And God of very God infusing all
with unremitting life.
From Him the ache and arc of love’s pure call
proceeds to bid us rise.

Now and ever, ever so.
Now and ever, ever so.
 
The moon behind its breath of cloud
reveals how even light obscured
provides illumination through
our night and every veil.

Now and ever, ever so.
Now and ever, ever so.
 
At every turn that tears the heart,
at every fear that severs each
thus torn, to every wounded part,
the brilliant balm will reach.

Now and ever, ever so.
Now and ever, ever so.

Copyright © 2014 by Scott Cairns. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Commission & Performance History
Now and Ever, Ever So was commissioned by Image Journal in celebration of its 25th Anniversary. It was premiered on 8 November 2014 at St. James Cathedral in Seattle by Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Loren W. Pontén.