When Santiago and I began to discuss this commission, we kept returning to the subject of mental health and inclusion. In a discussion with students, one student voiced that they “feel excluded and not cared for,” and that their struggle with mental health “has made [them] feel alone and helpless.”
Santiago begins the piece with an old, quasi-ritualistic melody that calls back to previous times and traditions. As the work continues, the melody unites together with the other voices to emulate inclusion and unity of voices. His text draws parallels to nature and how we are able to bloom through the darkness of adversity with the help of others.
We hope this work aids in our conversations about the importance of discussing mental health and inclusion. In our discussion, other students affirmed that “when I am included by others, it makes me feel more like a person and less invisible.” “We can talk about mental health more to let people know that they are not alone; there are people who care for and love them.” “Everyone deserves to be seen and heard.”
– 𝐵𝑒𝑛𝑗𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑛 𝑆𝑎𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑠 –
Difficulty: Medium / Hard
Instrumentation: SSAA or TTBB
Text language: Spanish
Duration: 4:00 min