I Am Ice

2023 – for A Capella SATB Mixed Choir – 4:00


World Premiere: Dec 16, 2023, Grace Church on-the-Hill, Toronto, Canada
The Annex Singers

Programme Notes

Frequently, as we contemplate the concept of marginalization, we tend to link it with actions directed towards our fellow humans, and this connection is indeed justified. Throughout the history of human interaction, people have consistently marginalized one another for a myriad of reasons. However, this made me reflect on how, as humans, we have increasingly marginalized our natural world, particularly over the past two centuries—a natural world that, ironically, our mere existence so profoundly depends on. We have done this out of greed and/or ambivalence. Undoubtedly, the marginalization of the environment is a key factor contributing to the precarious position we find ourselves in amidst the climate crisis.

In June 2023, I was fortunate to be part of an artist residency aboard a tall ship sailing around the Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic. I had ample time to contemplate the immense expanse of our world. I also witnessed a lot of melting ice. It led me to wonder what ice might have to express regarding its current plight of abnormally rapid melting. I realize that humans often enjoy personifying non-human entities. But when I read Leonor Anthony‘s poem on the idea of ice having feelings and facing its mortality, I quickly realized that this was an impactful way to turn the lens back on ourselves.

It is for this reason that I composed this choral work to be a passionate lament for the state of our world. My intention is for this piece to become a resonant voice for something typically silent—the ice itself, which has so much to tell us. All that remains is for us to lend our ears and truly listen.

– Frank Horvat

Commissioned by The Annex Singers.

Composition photo taken by Frank Horvat on The Arctic Circle Expedition in June 2023.

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