gaia – the living earth (vocal 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. It exhorts humanity to regard earth and all living beings as Native Americans did in the mid-19th century, when their land was increasingly appropriated. The text is nowadays more widely applicable and even 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 in all, to create a work of almost 30 minutes in length. 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, and another with the same vocal forces but orchestral accompaniment. The score sample on the right is from page 1 of the vocal score published by ACE, which is more than 130 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 electronically generated recordings below helping to provide a good idea of the musical style.