I scoured my go-to source material, Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" for a poem that might set well for the commission. I came upon the first poem in the "Chants Democratic" section which I thought perfectly captured the emotions of the LGBT troops. Lines like, "What we are, we are...", "I swear I dare not shirk any part of myself, not any part of America, good or bad", and "O I see now flashing, that this America is only you and me, its power, weapons, testimony, are you and me...". The song isn't only about an individual group standing up for their rights, but about a section of that group fighting for the rights of every person, even those that condemn them. The song is titled, "A Nation Announcing Itself".
Clint treats the subject matter directly, and takes great care in setting the text. There are bugle-like intervals in the vocal line at the beginning of the song, setting a military theme which develops into a melody that flows from powerful exclamation, to floating pianissimi, and back. The accompaniment is virtuosic and exciting, reinforcing the emotional "buzz" of the text, and there's a big finish! I am amazed by how well Clint wrote for my specific voice, exploiting a full tonal palette in a way that seems like we collaborated endlessly on each phrase. All this, after one conversation about basic technical aspects of the vocal line. I'm thrilled to premiere this song with pianist Jim Jordan, who is an incredibly gifted artist and an absolute joy to make music with!
"InstantEncore made launching a mobile app seem effortless."