Sara Kirkland Snider ~ Composer of Music

Chamber Ensemble

You Are Free

(2015) Duration: 6:15

for fl, cl, marimba, pno, vln, cello

Commissioned by: Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble

World Premiere: February 13, 2016, by Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, Mason First United Methodist Church, Mason, MI.


“…darkly ravishing…”

The Boston Musical Intelligencer, May 10, 2016

Program Note:

In 2015, Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, in a project called “Music In Their Words,” commissioned nine composers including me to create works that utilized the speaking voice of a significant 20th Century composer, one who’d had a strong impact on their own work. I chose Arvo Pärt; when I first encountered contemporary music, he was one of the living composers whose music genuinely moved me. I had read a description of Pärt’s music as “both infinite calm and a house on fire,” which struck me as poignantly apt. The field recording of Pärt’s voice comes from a delightfully earnest video interview he did with Icelandic experimental pop star Björk in the late ‘90s. As I listened to their conversation about the ways music in which music affects a listener, I heard a simple F major triad undulating in marimba, piano, and clarinet. From there, I tried to let the piece unfold relatively free of agenda or judgment, something I don’t often do. The first performance direction is “somewhere between plaintive, tender, and anxious.”

The piece can be performed with or without the field recording.

One Response to “You Are Free”

  1. Hello Sarah,

    I direct a new music ensemble in the Baltimore/DC area ( and I’m looking for repertoire ideas for next season. I’m interested in your piece, You are free. Would there be a recording I could hear, or a score I could peruse?
    Thanks! Hope to hear from you.
    Rob Baker

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