What We Do— Now

No.1 from Lifting As We Climb

 “What We Do—Now” is the stand alone first movement of Lifting As We Climb, a choral narrative 30 minutes in length scored for women’s choir, narrators (6) piano, drum kit and alto sax. Suffragists come to life and previously hidden voices of African American women fighting for the vote are heard. Lifting As We Climb looks back in time, but just as importantly it explores  the present and a future that will require a diligent, informed public ready to fight for equality, democracy and the right to vote.  

This first movement addresses the present day. The opening alto sax solo opens with a mournful, bluesy tone, setting the stage for "praise and protest."  The piece moves through uptempo agitation before finally arriving at the calm that patience and being "awake" brings.

 Ellen Hagan  comments on her poem,  What We Do—Now:   “This poem was meant to be a balm & salve for the tumultuous world we live in.“

Item Voicing/Instrumentation Duration Price Audio View Score Quantity
pdf purchase only
SSAA, piano, alto sax, drumkit 3:30 $2.50

Ellen Hagan

What We Do—Now  
- after Gwendolyn Brooks

We mourn, we bless,

we blow, we wail, we

wind—down, we sip,

we spin, we blind, we

bend, bow & hem. We

hip, we blend, we bind,

we shake, we shine,

shine. We lips & we

teeth, we praise & protest.

We document & we

drama. We demand &

we flow, fold & hang

loose. We measure &

we moan, mourn & whine

low. & we live, and we

breathe. & some of the time,

we don’t.

Tonight, I am here. Here

& tired. Here & awake,

sure, & alive. Yes here &

still, still here, still & here

& still awake & still still


pdf purchase only