Glimpses Of Love

Glimpses of Love is a setting of texts by Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi for Choir and Wind EnsembleIt was commissioned in 2011 by the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble, director, Matthew Marsit, and the Handel Society of Dartmouth College, director, Robert Duff, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Hopkins Center for the Arts (1962-2012).

The work was premiered on February 24, 2013 by these two groups, under the baton of Matthew Marsit, to an enthusiastic reception from a large audience. A recording of that performance is below, followed by the text and further details about the piece. Please contact me if you would like a perusal score.

Glimpses Of Love

(Fragments taken from the works of Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi (1207 –1273)


Your task is not to seek for love,
But to find all the barriers you have built against it
Within yourself.


The moment I heard my first love story
I started looking for you,
Not knowing how blind I was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
They’re in each other all along.


Love is from the infinite, and will remain until eternity.
The seeker of love escapes the chains of birth and death.


I have lived on the lip of insanity,
Wanting to know reasons, 
knocking on a door.
It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside!


I want to see you, know your voice,
Recognize you when you first come ‘round the corner,
Sense your fragrance in a room you’ve just left.

Know the lift of your heel, the glide of your foot.
Watch the way you purse your lips then let them part,
Just the slightest bit,
When I lean in to your space and kiss you.
I want to know the joy of how you whisper “more”.


I, you, he, she, we;
In the garden of mystic lovers, these are not true distinctions.


They say there is a doorway from heart to heart.
But what use is a door when there are no walls?


Look what you have done to me!
I am disheveled, bewildered and confused.
You have cut open my heart
And filled it with a thousand love spells,
You have lit a candle inside me,
And all this time, before you,
I have been living in the darkness of my soul.


Form came as a branch of love,
For without love this form would have no worth.
Without love, all worship is a burden,
All dancing is a chore,
All music is merely noise.

All the rain of heaven may fall into the sea,

But without love,
Not one drop could become a pearl.


When I am with you we stay up all night.
When you’re not here I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for the two insomnias,
And the difference between them.


O guide on my winding road,
I keep turning round and round
In hopes of finding you.


A strange passion is moving in my head.
My heart has become a bird
 which searches in the sky.
Every part of me flies in different directions.
Can it really be 
that the one I love is everywhere?


Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
There is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
The world is too full for words.




Mixed Voice (SATB) Choir
Wind Ensemble** consisting of:
1 Piccolo, 3 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 1 Cor Anglais, 4 Clarinets in Bb, 1 Bass Clarinet, 1 Contrabass Clarinet,
2 Alto Saxophones, 1 Tenor Saxophone, 1 Baritone Saxophone, 2 Bassoons
4 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, 1 Euphonium, 1 Tuba
1 String Bass, Piano, 1 Timpanist (4 Timpani, 2 loose Cymbals)
6 Percussionists,#1: Marimba 1 #2: Glockenspiel, Marimba 1, Vibraphone, Xylophone,
#3: Marimba 2 (5 octaves), Xylophone, #4: Marimba 2, Triangle, #5: Bell Tree, Triangle, Snare Drum, Wind Chimes, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Suspended Cymbal, Tubular Bells, Crash Cymbals, #6: Tamtam, Suspended Cymbal, Triangle, Crash Cymbals, Bass Drum, Antique Cymbals

** traditional wind ensemble – one player per part

Duration – approximately 23’

The English translations of Rumi’s texts are predominantly by Coleman Barks for whose permission I am most grateful, however translations for some poems originate from public domain sources.