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Sheet Music

And Rehearsal Materials

The Drop That Contained the Sea



Instrumentation:
  • Orchestra, Ethnic Percussion, Soloists and Chorus
Text: Various
Duration: 58 min
Year: 2014


Performance History: First performed April 13, 2014 at Carnegie Hall, New York, NY by the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Jonathan Griffith. European premiere was given at the York Barbican in York, UK on July 16, 2016, by the Mowbray Orchestra and Angel City Chorale and Prima Vocal Ensembles, conducted by Christopher Tin. Subsequently performed at Cadogan Hall, London by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Angel City Chorale, Prima Vocal Ensemble, and Lucis, on July 19, 2016, conducted by Christopher Tin.

Program Notes: Water is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It creates life and brings about death, and it has the power to shape the face of the earth. Water means different things to different cultures, and I wanted to explore this in The Drop That Contained the Sea. Each piece is inspired by water in a different form, arranged in the order that water flows through the world: melting snow, mountain streams, rivers, the ocean, and so forth. And like Calling All Dawns, the end of the album flows back into the beginning, reflecting the endless nature of the water cycle. Each of the 10 pieces is also sung in a different language, exploring a different vocal tradition: Bulgarian women's choirs, Mongolian throat singing, and Portuguese fado, to name just a few.

FROM CHRISTOPHER: "The title of The Drop That Contained the Sea comes from a Sufi concept: in the same way that every drop of water contains the essence of the sea, inside every human is the essence of all of humanity. In keeping with this idea I've introduced a water theme in the prelude, and woven subtle variations throughout the album. It contains all seven notes of a major scale-four descending and three ascending-mirroring the flow of water through our world, and representing the vast ocean of melodic possibility contained within a single scale."

Commission Information:
  • "Haktan Gelen Serbeti" commissioned by DCINY, and first performed June 3, 2013 at the University Concert Hall, Eskisehir, Turkey by the Presidential Symphony Orchestra and Jonathan Griffith Singers, conducted by Jonathan Griffith.
  • "Temen Oblak" commissioned by the International Schools Choral Music Society, and first performed February 22, 2014 at the Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing, China by the ISCMS Festival Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Christopher Tin.
  • "Iza Ngomso" commissioned by Waterford Union High School, and first performed January 5, 2014 at Waterford Union High School, Waterford, WI by the WUHS Choirs, conducted by Derek Machan.
  • "Tsas Narand Uyarna" commissioned by the Stratus Chamber Orchestra, and first performed September 27, 2013 at the Colorado Christian University Music Center, Denver, CO by Pearl Rutherford and the Stratus Chamber Orchestra, conducted by David Rutherford.
  • "Passou o Verao" commissioned by Alexandra Iranfar, and first performed October 25, 2013 at Old First Church, San Francisco, CA by Alexandra Iranfar.
  • "Seirenes" commissioned by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and first performed January 19, 2014 at the Collins Center for the Arts, Bangor, ME by Anonymous 4 and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lucas Richman.
  • "Haf Gengr Hridum" commissioned by Stanford University, and first performed May 18, 2013 at Memorial Church, Stanford, CA by the Stanford Chamber Chorale and Stanford Taiko, conducted by Steve Sano.
  • "Waloyo Yamoni" commissioned by The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew's, and first performed June 1, 2012 at The Parish of St. Matthew, Los Angeles, CA by Rose Beattie, Rayvon Moore, and The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew's, and conducted by Tom Neenan.


Purchase/Rental

Study Score
Complete transcription of the album
  • Worldwide Physical Purchase: webstore
  • Latest revised version: 10/22/2018



    Full Score and Parts
    2(2dPicc).2(2dEHrn).2(2dBCl).2(2dCBsn)./4.3.2+1.1/Timp+5/Pno(dCel)/Harp/Strings
    [Perc: GC, SD, Tom-toms, Tam-tam, SusCym, Ptti, Gongs in A and C, Chimes, Glock, Xylo, Singing Bowls, FingCym, WindChimes, Whip, Shkr, Tamb, Riq, Daf, Udu, Darabuka, Djembe, Frame Drum, Tabla]
  • North America Rental: The Musical Company
  • Rest-of-World Rental: Faber


  • Chamber Score and Parts
    1(dPicc).1.1.0./2.0.1+1.0/Timp+3/Pno(dCel)/Harp/Strings
    [Perc: GC, SD, Tom-toms, Tam-tam, SusCym, Ptti, Gongs in A and C, Chimes, Glock, Xylo, Singing Bowls, FingCym, WindChimes, Whip, Shkr, Tamb, Riq, Daf, Udu, Darabuka, Djembe, Frame Drum, Tabla]
  • North America Rental: The Musical Company
  • Rest-of-World Rental: Faber


  • Vocal Score
    SSAATTBB with Soloists, Piano
  • North America Purchase: Alfred
  • Rest-of-World Purchase: Faber
  • Latest revised version: 08/04/2014