A piece which celebrates an anniversary provides a composer with particular challenges in the choice of a text. It should not be so tied to the group or the event that no-one else will want to use the music, yet it needs to acknowledge and celebrate the group’s achievement.
“All This Singing, One Song” was written for GALS (Gay and Lesbian Singers of Auckland) for the choir’s 20th anniversary in 2012. The text comes from the 13th century Persian poet and philosopher Rumi, and consists of several short pieces of his writing on the subject of singing. Most of these encourage the listener to join in with the singing. The music is mostly rhythmic and energetic, with a strong climax at the end where the choir sings the words “Sing loud!”.
Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi or Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273) was a 13th-century Persian philosopher, theologian, poet, teacher, and Sufi mystic. Also known as Mevlana (Our Guide), Jalaluddin Rumi, but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi.
“All This Singing, One Song” was commissioned by GALS (music director: Stephen Bowness), and first performed by the choir on 27 October 2012.