2-Clarinet in Bb, Bass Clarinet, 4- Horn in F, 2- Trumpet in Bb, 2- Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tympani, Conga, Bass Drum,
2- Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass
Duration: 26 minutes
The Psalm is set for Orchestra and Chorus in 3 movements. The first movement opens with an orchestral fugue in which the strings represent strength. The agitation of the woodwinds and percussion infuses the presence of struggle. Structured by the intervals of the 4th and 6th, the chorus enters in an ultimate resolve of faith:
Bondyé sé réfij nou é fòs nou
Li toujou la pou’l édé
lè problèm yo vini.
The melodic lines develop independently to the style of a patwa or chant to illustrate a self-realization of the texts, as well, to be of encouragement to others.
The second movement employs the use of the Yanvalou, a traditional Haitian cross-rhythm of 2 against 3. The Yanvalou is most associated with a sacred Haitian spirit dance, of humility and assurance. The ceremonial rhythm, with origins in the Yoruban culture of West Africa, drives the texts:
Minm lè latè tranblé
é lè montay yo tounin nan lanmè
nou pap jan’m pè.
The middle section explores the rhythmic intricacies of the Afro-Haitian rhythms Yanvalou and Ibo, from the Voodoo tradition with an array of displaced rhythms and rhythmic interplay within the ensemble accompanied by a continuous ostinato.
A variation of the opening motive starts the third movement. This time the motive is developed with brass. The texture is reminiscent of the motion of waves to support the many parallels to life of rivers. Introducing the text:
Gin yon rivyè ké chémin Bondyé-a
ki bay nou kè kontan.