This is the first movement of "Anything Can Happen," a five-movement work for choir, solo viola, and baritone, by Mohammed Fairouz.
The work was co-commissioned by The Grinnell Singers with generous support from the Curd Fund, The Back Bay Chorale (Boston). The Boston University Marsh Chapel Choir, and Cantori New York, with generous support from the Jeffrey D. Silver Fund for Program Development. It was premiered by the Grinnell Singers, John Rommereim, conductor, with Christine Rutledge, viola, and Andrew Whitfield, baritone, at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago on March 18, 2012. The performance in this video took place on April 14, 2012, at Sebring-Lewis Hall, at Grinnell College.
The score of "Anything Can Happen" is published by PeerMusic Classical. The composer dedicated the work "to Seamus Heaney, with gratitude."
I. In Iowa
In Iowa once, among the Mennonites
In a slathering blizzard, conveyed all afternoon
Through sleet-glit pelting hard against the windscreen
And a wiper's strong absolving slumps and flits,
I saw, abandoned in the open gap
Of a field where wilted corn stalks flagged the snow,
A mowing machine. Snow brimmed its iron seat,
Heaped each spoked wheel with a thick white brow,
And took the shine off oil in the black-toothed gears.
Verily I came forth from that wilderness
As one unbaptized who had known darkness
At the third hour and the veil in tatters.
In Iowa once. In the slush and rush and hiss
Not of parted but as of rising waters.
The text of this movement is by Seamus Heaney, and it can be found in District and Circle, Faber and Faber Ltd., 2006.