A Time for Life — An Introduction
One of the most urgent issues facing the world today is the ecological crisis caused by humanity’s inability to live in harmony with the natural world. My collaboration with Cappella Romana grew out of our mutual concern about this potentially catastrophic situation. After many discussions, I decided to create an environmental oratorio in order to address this crucial topic from a variety of perspectives.
A Time for Life (2007) was created for eight of the principal singers of Cappella Romana, Alexander Lingas (its director), and the ensemble Medieval Strings with a later version (2008) for modern instruments (Third Angle New Music). The work features each of its vocalists as a soloist, a chamber musician (a member of duo- and trio-formations), and a chorister (part of the full eight-voice choral texture). I know the artists of Cappella Romana well and so I created the oratorio expressly for them so that they could explore the full range of their abilities. In this sense, A Time for Life is a musical play in which each “character” (singer or instrumentalist) performs a variety of roles. In a live performance, this play is also enacted through both the music and a simple choral choreography; the movement of the performers through the concert space is a journey that embodies the meaning of the text.
The composite text for A Time for Life was adapted from a wide range of sources that explore the relationship of humanity to nature.
— Robert Kyr