Bound for Canaan
SATB, 3’30” (2019)
‘Bound for Canaan’ is a classic hymn from the Sacred Harp songbook (no. 82), originally by John Leland and Elisha J. White, one of the original compilers of the Sacred Harp. Sacred Harp or “shape note” singing features a distinctive improvisatory, high-energy performance style. Many American composers such as Charles Ives have achieved a similar frenetic energy in their work through use of dense harmonies such as cluster chords, as I have used to embellish the melody in various ways here.