Basic Information

Instrumentation: Choral (SSAATTBB)
Duration: 3:30
Year composed: 2016


Written for C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective. First performed on March 2, 2017, Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, and March 4, 2017, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Manhattan

In the Project: Encore contemporary choral music catalog.

I read an article about the potential of seawall construction in Lower Manhattan.

Climate change is happening today, and:

  • we have to accept it;
  • we have to mitigate it;
  • we have to fight it;
  • we have to have empathy;
  • we may have to leave our homes.

How do you mitigate rising seas? Do you build a wall? Put dunes in your yard, if you live on the shore? Do you get protection if your land isn’t valuable? Are we protecting the buildings,
the history, or the people? What are our priorities?

This piece is about a person confronting these issues, not drawing conclusions. It is both a meditation and a plea to take climate change seriously, and face it head-on.


written by Jamie Klenetsky Fay

The seas are rising
How soon we forget that we’re on an island.
The tracks go on for miles
The shoreline creeps into the tunnels
It will rise.
And who will we protect?
The numbers on the ledger?
The people in the station?
They will rise
It will rise
We must rise.

Score & Recording