GO PLACIDLY AMID
THE NOISE AND HASTE
Clarinet, Cello & Orchestra:
Hawaii Youth Symphony
In the course of composing a work, there is often a good amont of music that is painfully discarded. Some of this material never sees the light of day, is reinterprested into another piece, or on rare occasions become the genisis to expanding the original material into compelling new directions. Taken from the my cello concerto Desiderata of 2014, I found that the material I had cut could do just that in the form of a work featuring the clarinet and cello. The title is taken from the first line of Max Erhmann's Desiderata as the music of Go Placidly Amid the Noise and Haste still very much connects to the original work and prose. While there are chucks of music that are very much the same to the cello concerto, these anchor moments serve to act as points of departure and arrival. Ultimatly the journey of both Desiderata and Go Placidly Amid the Noise and Haste share the same spiritual destinations with differing paths leading towards their eventual resolution.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
© Max Ehrmann 1927