This piece was written for Voices21C for their 2019 program at the Choralis Festival in Provence, France. The
program was entitled “Half The Sky”, inspired by the book of the same title by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl
WuDunn about women’s suffrage and triumphs from around the world.
Part of the French text (“Et ta foudre inutile, S’éteindra dans mon sang”) is from the poem “Promethée” from the
"Poesies philosophies" by Louise Victorine Ackermann who lived from 1813-1890. During her life in France, she
revolted against human suffering through her poetic works.
The piece is a declaration that women are here to claim their half. I occasionally played with the idea of “half” in
sections where the tenors and basses are holding whole and half notes, while the sopranos are running quarter
and eighth notes. Additionally, I wanted to subtly highlight that when women indeed have their half, they are
adding to the beauty of the whole, not taking anything away from men.

Lyrics

Put down your sword.
She hath not come for yours.
Put down your thunder bolt.
Et ta foudre inutile
S'éteindra dans mon sang.
Make way, she is half the sky.
She will fill it full of light.
Triomphe féminin…
Et notre foudre inutile
S'éteindra dans ton sang.
Triomphe féminin dans mon sang.
Put down your sword.
She hath not come for yours.
Triomphe féminin:
when she is…
la moitié du ciel
…half the sky.