gaia – the living earth (orchestral score)
Reddy composed the upbeat ‘clazz’ cantata gaia – the living earth in 2001. The libretto by Uli Vollmer is based on extracts from a speech reportedly given by Native American Chief Seathl (after whom the city of Seattle in Washington State is named) in 1854. The libretto exhorts humanity to regard earth and all living beings as Native Americans did in the mid-19th century, when their land was increasingly appropriated, but the text is now more widely applicable and more relevant in its message of ‘caring for the earth’ than ever before.
Reddy’s music is tuneful and accessible, composed in eight segments (one of which is repeated to make nine sections) and it lasts less than 30 minutes in performance. In addition to sung solos and choruses there are some short texts spoken by the soloists. There are two versions: one scored for Baritone and Soprano soloists, SATB choir and piano accompaniment (vocal score), and this one, which has with the same vocal forces but orchestral accompaniment. The work is scored for 2 each of flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons, 3 each of trumpets and trombones, plus timpani, piano, and strings, and the orchestration varies from one segment to another. The score sample on the right is page 1 of the orchestral score published by ACE, which is almost 60 pages long and includes a short programme note by Reddy, a longer introduction to the notion of gaia, and the text of each of the nine sections.
The live recording of section IX, the finale – earth’s family II – given immediately below was made at a performance by an amateur orchestra and singers in Überlingen, Germany. The other recordings below are electronically generated. Parts are not available at present, but if you wish to perform the work with orchestra please enquire via the contact page on this site.