Composer Sidney Marquez Boquiren explores the theme of healing through passages from Ecclesiastes, John, and Revelation in his new work folia ligni.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
folia ligni takes as its inspiration three sets of Biblical verses: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; John 14:27; and Revelation 22:2. The work itself is a diptych that consists of meditations on the verses from Ecclesiastes and the Gospel of St. John, written for piano, with the title (“leaves of the tree”) taken from Revelation 22:2 which is the verse that undergirds folia ligni: “The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” It is this healing of nations and (by extension) of peoples that I tried to get at, not in the sense of a direct depiction of some process of healing but more as a sort of struggle to achieve this healing, a striving to reach “a time of peace.”
Et in terra pax.
Sidney Marquez Boquiren is a composer-performer who grew up in the Philippines and Saudi Arabia but has spent most of his life in the United States. He collaborates with artists on various projects that include opera (Independence Eve with Daniel Neer); Biblical illumination (folia ligni for Spark and Echo Arts); and multi-media (The Gretel Project with Lauren K. Alleyne, Catherine Chung, and Tomiko Jones). As a pianist, he performs regularly with Rhymes With Opera and pulsoptional.
A MacDowell Fellow, Sidney is currently the Chair of the Department of Music at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, where he teaches music theory and composition. He is also a cantor and sings in the choir of The Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan, New York.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com