This Is That
Set to a text by Canadian poet Coreen Philley, This Is That is a song of grief, reckoning, and reflection on sadness of the past and the many paths our lives may have taken.
"This Is That" a plaintive and compassionate 'what if' to what might have been without the life scars that capture us all. I always imagine myself and others to be riding parallel lines of existences — those which we live and those which we once hoped we would live or perhaps at least be in. We are taught that all the experiences of our lives add up to the complex, complicated, interesting empathetic individuals — basically that there are no wasted experiences. On our good days I think we can all believe that to be true. However, I know it's important to acknowledge with poignancy and grace what could have been and who we could have been — to honour that part of ourselves that longs for peace, for ourselves and others. "This is That" is a song of grief and of a reckoning with the sadness of the past. Albeit, with the potential for some hope — if you read between the lines. — Coreen Philley
Year of composition
2018 (Voice & Piano Version)
2019 (Chamber Version)
Available in high and medium voicings with piano or chamber ensemble (flute, clarinet, viola, cello, and piano) accompaniment. Vocal range:
This Is That was written and premiered on June 29, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada as part of the 7th iteration of Art Song Lab, a program that brings together writers, composers, and performers from around the world to create new art song. Soon afterwards, Erato Ensemble commissioned and premiered an arrangement of This Is That for voice and chamber ensemble accompaniment which premiered on February 9, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.