U Trau-Choir

This work was commissioned by AMIS – The Association for Music in International Schools. The text is secular and international in character. It is in Niuspi, a language with a vocabulary derived mainly from Indo-European languages and with a grammar which in some aspects resembles Chinese. You may find a pronunciation guide below. There is also a reading of the text along with the most recent recording of the music. I am very happy to announce that this music is now available in a new edition from eminent publishing house EC Schirmer. Performances have taken place in Leiden Holland, Blue Lake Michigan, Minneapolis Minnesota (twice), and Singapore.

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U Trau

Mi pa hae u trau….
Mi pa trau ke Gaia pa bi u gja ple i zi au kla floa.
Mi pa trau ke Gaia pa bi mo nzio e u tou hua o le zi nziope.
Mi pa trau ke u hua pa bi u fmi, e au pe zi zbi;
e ke zi ho e fe pa ge ksoi gua, smi duo flue o bvi.

Mi pa trau o muo i ke au gue pa pa sto, i ke u pae pa flo smi rio.
Mi pa trau o muo i ke pa ge bi u nui pro ca fae pe,
u hlai pro ca mau pe, u kfoa pro ca trie pe, au ge gi pro lau;
U muo i ke ca pe pa hae u do, i ke u rai pa ge cea, i ke ca hua bio pa bi u ge zreo bju.

Mi pa trau ke Gaia pa bi u hau e au biole o le zi haupe.
Mi pa trau ke u tou hua pa zvea Gaia:
o le klea kua, o le puo ea, o le no mbea beu, o le mzie.
Mi pa trau ke au griape pa crei u trea, au pcipe pa crei u mae;
e ke u tou hua i ca lo pa po hea u kco o Gaia.
E mi pa vgae, e mi pa vi, e mi pa di:
Li nu ski o Gaia nzie kco,
Vai nu kri u niu kco pro hua,
Li nu kco pro beu fu tai,
Pro zi sfia cie, zi mrea mae,
Pro lau e joi e spie e pae,
U fu tai ple i zi voe o zi kni,
U fu tai ple i zi trau.

Nu hae u trau…..

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The Dream

I had a dream….
I dreamt that the earth was a garden full of flowers of every colour.
I dreamt that the earth was one nation and all humanity its citizens.
I dreamt that humankind was a family, and all people brothers and sisters;
and that men and women were seen as equal, like the two wings of a bird.

I dreamt of a world where all wars had ceased, where peace flowed like a river.
I dreamt of a world where there was food for the hungry,
healing for the sick, comfort for the sad, all given out of love;
A world where everybody had a home, where wealth was shared, where each human life was a jewel to be treasured.

I dreamt that the Earth was a house and all living things its tenants.
I dreamt that all humanity cared for the earth,
its clear water, its clean air, its incomparable beauty, its mystery.
I dreamt that all farmers cherished the land, all fishermen cherished the sea;
and that all humanity everywhere could hear the song of the earth.
And I woke, and I saw, and I said:
Let us learn the earth’s ancient song,
While we write a new song for humanity,
Let us sing for a beautiful future,
For sapphire skies and emerald seas,
For love and joy and wisdom and peace,
A future full of the voices of children,
A future full of dreams.

We have a dream….

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Niuspi Pronunciation Guide

The following points should be of assistance.

All Niuspi vowels are ‘pure’ being similar to Italian vowels.

Niuspi diphthongs retain the value of both vowels. On a long note or melisma it is usually the second vowel that is sustained, not the first as in English. This is clearly indicated in the score: bio is written bi-o, niu is written ni-u etc on all but the shortest notes. In other words, the second vowel is written as a separate syllable.

There should be no break between vowels in adjacent words except when the vowels are the same: in spie e there is a very short break between the two words, similar to English the evening.

Niuspi consonants are similar to English consonants with the following exceptions:

c = English sh

g = always hard as in the English girl

h = as in the Scots loch. The German ch as in Bach. The English h and the Spanish j are acceptable variants

j = always soft, as in the French jaune or English measure.

r = preferably slightly trilled, as in Italian or Scots, with the English r an acceptable variant

q, w, x and y do not exist in Niuspi

For English speakers some initial double consonants such as nz, zr, bj, mr, kn, may look difficult. However Niuspi words have no final consonants and no breaks between words, so such sounds present no problem. They should be practised as part of the phrase in which they occur. No consonant clusters of more than two consonants are possible, and no more than two vowels are ever combined in one syllable.

In two syllable words such as biole (living thing) and griape (farmer) the first syllable is slightly stressed. Other stresses are indicated by an apostrophe after the stressed syllable.

Please note: the pronunciation in the reading above is not definitive, only a basic guide. I bring traces of my native language to my pronunciation of Niuspi as will all speakers and singers of this music

Christopher Marshall

Auckland, New Zealand

August 2, 2006

Performance History

The first performance of ‘U Trau’ was on March 20, 2004 in Pieterskerk, the “Pilgrims’ Church” in Leiden, the Netherlands, as a finale to the AMIS International Honor Band and Choir Festival. It was very warmly received by the large audience.

The choir of 180 voices and two wind bands of 45 players was directed by Jerry Luckhardt from the University of Minnesota. Here is a photo of as many of the performers as could fit in the picture!

The second performance and US Premiere took place 7.30pm on July 3, 2005 at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Blue Lake MI. Kent Krive (assisted by choral conductor Richard Rossi) directed a choir and wind ensemble comprising tutors and professionals in an effective and very successful performance.

This is the fourth performance. It took place in Minneapolis, MS on October 21, 2006, at 7.30pm in the Ted Mann Concert Hall of the University of Minnesota School of Music: the combined forces of the University of Minnesota Symphonic Band and Concert Choir under the baton of Dr Luckhardt (assisted by Matthew Mehaffey) who had directed the world premiere in the Netherlands. The band, comprised mainly of first year students, did a very fine job.This was the second of two performances, the first taking place on October 18. The response from both large audiences was enthusiastic.

Would you like to see this score? Just email me and I will send you a free PDF file of the full score, and/or the choral/piano score.

Each band: 1 Picc. 2 Fl. 1 Ob. 4 Cl.(Bb) 1 B.Cl. 2 Alt.Sax. 1 Ten.Sax. 1 Bar.Sax. 1 Bsn. 1 D.B. 2 Hn(F) 3 Tpt.(Bb) 3Tbn. 1 Euph. 1 Tba. 1 Timp. 2 Perc.

Leiden Holland, Blue Lake Michigan, Minneapolis Minnesota, Singapore.