250 Word Bio

Sora Jederan-Shpack is an emerging composer, writer, flutist, collaborative artist whose compositions are driven by her passion to engage with and convey story, emotion and experience of people and place. Her compositional style resembles most closely film-scoring with sound-scapes and melodies representing time, place and action, and juxtaposing harmonies of consonance and beauty against unexpected dissonance, and driving rhythms against serene soul-searching meditations.

 

Sora’s flute compositions reflect her love for the flute and studies in flute performance at Stetson University with Geoffrey Gilbert (1973-1975). Expanding her interests from flutist to composer, she completed a MM Composition at Carnegie Mellon University under Leonardo Balada (2008-2010). While at CMU Sora won first place in both the 2010 string quartet competition with Summer Travels and orchestral competition with All the Walls. She also won the 2009 The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for All the Walls.   All The Walls was received with great enthusiasm here and abroad, the Ramat Rachel Archaeological Project (Tel Aviv University, Israel) wrote, “Congratulations for All The Walls, we do love it! We wish it will be performed many more times – even some day with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in Tel Aviv…”

 

Sora has received commissions from The Park Foundation and The Level Green Foundation for Songs of Many Waters, Montserrat Music Composition Festival for Deuteronomy III, GrassRoots Festival for All the Walls, FingerLakes Flutes for Contemporary Cantata and Crossing the Bar, VOICES Multicultural Chorus for the Islamic oratorio A Mother’s Love, and Ithaca Flute Duo for In Her Own Voice.

 

 

Our Troops Return

Our Troops Return (November 2010) 6 min. Brass Ensemble: 4 Hns, 4 Tpts, 3 Tbns, 1 B Tbn, 1 Tuba  

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Hymn of Gratitude

Chant and Hymn of Gratitude

Chant

Yih, Yah, Huu, Hee.

Hymn

I am grateful that I am, I am.
We are grateful that we are, we are.
We are light and energy celestial,
We are one, rejoice with songs of life!

Recognize your wondrous vast potential,
Dancing, singing that we are, we are,
Dancing, singing that I am, I am,
Bring to life gifts, talents and uniqueness!

For your sacred being and for mine,
For all past and future souls divine,
We are grateful that we are, we are,
I am grateful that I am, I am.

 

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The Land of Breath

The Land of Breath

Children’s Song
Text and Music: Sora Jederan-Shpack February 2010

I dreamed I saw a white bird fly Into my room last night The white bird said Climb on my back And off we’ll soar in flight

On her I lept And off we went Across the great blue sky That soft white bird and I

And where we went The air was clean And pure as crystal dew I breathed that air So deeply in, as though ‘twas all I knew

Here in this space, My steady breath Did in and out it go And as I watched a quiet sense That I am safe did grow

And by and by The white bird said There’s no more time to roam, With silent wings upon the wind Our breathing brought us home.

As I awoke, I looked and saw A white bird rushing by Reminding me of the Land of Breath, Across the great blue sky

A white tern (Gygis alba) takes flight on Midway Island in the South Pacific. The birds nest on coral islands throughout the tropics, and they lay just one egg at a time, typically balanced precariously on a tree branch or rock. WHOI population biologist Hal Caswell has been studying the population dynamics and geographic distribution of several types of birds, with a particular interest in how those species are being affected by climate change. (Photo by Hal Caswell, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) All images are copyright ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=10897&i=2462&x=245

The Mirror

THE MIRROR

Text and Music: Sora Jederan-Shpack
Loghan Bazan, mezzo-soprano
Jonghee Kang, pianist
Photography: Nancy Halgren
Door Photography: Sora Jederan-Shpack
Portraits: Michael Clifford Shpack and Sarauv Rana



Into our dreams, into our dreams


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Gliding o’re the waves of time


 

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Stepping through … stepping through … … stepping through





The door of your mind,

 


Turn, turn, turn to
Face, face, face the

Mirror, mirror, mirror, mirror
Mirror, mirror, mirror, mirror
Of your soul, your soul,

 


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And be joyful
In seeing G-d*
In you and me and all that is.




Copyright June 2010
*Out of respect for the Jewish community, I have chosen to write the word meaning The Omnipotent One as G-d omitting the middle letter.


Summer Travels

Summer Travels

Three movements for String Quartet

Reading: JACK Quartet

Photography: Nancy Halgren

Photography and Art: Saurav Rana

Music: Sora Jederan-Shpack

FLIGHT (Movement 1) clip (1m 20s) (complete is approx. 3m 46s)

JACK Quartet Reading

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NEPAL (Movement 2) complete (3m 34s)JACK Quartet Reading

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SPAIN…FLIGHT (Movement 3) complete (3m 11s)

Midi Version

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On a Ritual to Read to Each Other

On A Ritual to Read to Each Other

Text by William Stafford*

Music by Sora Jederan-Shpack

Finale Midi Version

Stanza I

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If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.


Stanza II

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For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

Stanza III

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And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.


Stanza IV

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And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.


Stanza V 

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For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

* Permission for use of text requested and received 2009

 

 

Ode to the Days of Transition

Ode to the Days of Transition

Music, text, flutist and voice: Sora Jederan-Shpack
Paintings: Michael Clifford Shpack
Winter Sketches, Eyes Photograph: Saurav Rana
Moons and Flower Photographs: Nancy Halgren

 

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Approaching the apex of transition, transition,

Time speeds out of control, out of…

Hurling ones being into a vortex of past and future energies,

Colliding, fighting, for dominance!

At once believing yourself secure,
You are now catapulted into the spiral, into the spiral, into,








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Torn! Wrenched! Dismantled!

Left naked, unarmed…

Here, where there is no time,
You float, nowhere, with no one,










Marveling at the peace, at the space,
You are suspended in nothingness.


Past…patterns…melt away…



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Eyes peer into a new reality,
Exiting the days, the days of transition,
Embarking, embarking, on the next phase,
On the next phase of being.


Text and Music
Sora Jederan-Shpack 2007

Eight Bells

Eight Bells

Text: John Lee Payton      Seascape Art: Ken Bushe      Portrait Art: Michael Clifford Shpack      Music: Sora Jederan-Shpack



All is quiet in the bowels of the slaver far at sea

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Where it rests upon the bottom leagues and years from you and me.
But there was a time ’round eight bells when the night was windy cold
And the shackled ones were sighing in the darkness of the hold.




The sea was still, the night was calm; no man heard their plea

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To almighty Gods for kindness and release from misery
Restless sleepers’ iron bracelets pinked softly as first bell tolled,
The next four marked spirits rising from their shadows in the hold.

 

 

At sixth bell a young lieutenant who’d left a wife just twenty-three

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Cupped a guttering candle in one shivering hand so he could see
Something flickering in his heart and eye and making his soul yearn
As he walked the creaking planks of mid-night to and fro from bow to stern.




At seventh bell he felt a shifting wind but naught else did he heed

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But a tiny portrait of his darling in its gold and silver filigree.
Then came the wraiths around him, and the ship and all its world
So stars’ light seemed torn from Heaven and deep into Hades hurled.



No man heard the eighth bell sing out for the free and slave souls slipped,

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For it was over in a heartbeat when the black ship’s keel was split.
She struck a reef, was torn asunder, and swallowed by the sea
Never more to see sweet Africa or the young bride of twenty-three.