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Miracle is a choral setting of a poem of the same name by Gavin Barrett. It was composed as part of the Amadeus Choir’s “Choral Creation Lab” in 2023, where three composers were paired with three poets to create new choral works entirely from scratch.

The music is inspired by the genuine and heart-wrenching simplicity of the text. In my initial meetings with Gavin, he spoke with such calm assurance, and when reading this poem, delivered the lines in a matter of fact way that resonated with me deeply, causing a feeling of emotional butterflies. In setting these words, I attempted to mimic the simplicity of delivery through homophonic and duet textures, and wanted to communicate the feeling of butterflies and heartbeat rhythms through rhythmic motifs.

This poem is made up of 2 5-line verses, with a hidden 5-line verse in the middle. This is represented in the music through a shift of key at “Until my heart attacked me”, returning at “Faith is the thing that flew”.

Text: Gavin Barrett
Voicing: SATB Divisi
Composed in 2023

By Gavin Barrett

I had god but a priest cured me.
The leaving wracked me like desperate prayer.
Until my heart attacked me, I was a lover
fingertips you wouldn’t believe,
tongue softer than air.

Hearts are holes held by muscle,
brains bone-bound mush.
Faith is the thing that flew
out my mouth like a robin
and sings in my hair like a thrush.