"Flight Song" was written as a gift to Dr. Anton Armstrong and the St. Olaf Choir. Kim writes: "I've had the pleasure of working with Anton Armstrong and the choir, and their performances have always been sublime. With this piece, I want to show my gratitude."
The SSAA version was commissioned and premiered by the Mirinesse Women's Choir and Rebecca Rottsolk.
The piece was also the first collaboration with the Welsh poet Euan Tait. The imagery sings of each singer's hidden song, and the conductor drawing that song from the singers: their hidden, unfolding life stories, their deep longings. The arms of the conductor, like great wings, shape the singing; music is compassion and the singers' longing is to fly towards other's suffering. The final message is that music making is the song of new life, fragile as the fall of a feather.
All we are, we have found in song:
you have drawn this song from us.
Songs of lives unfolding
fly overhead, cry overhead:
longing, rising from the song within.
Moving like the rise and fall of wings,
hands that shape our calling voice
on the edge of answers
you’ve heard our cry, you’ve known our cry:
music’s fierce compassion flows from you.
The night is restless with the sounds we hear,
is broken, shaken by the cries of pain:
for this is music’s inner voice,
saying, yes, we hear you,
all you who cry aloud,
and we will fly, answering you:
so our lives sing, sing,
wild we will fly,
wild in spirit we will fly.
Like a feather falling from the wing,
fragile as a human voice,
alive to love, we sing as love,
yet our flight begins as song
by Euan Tait