Bayu, Bayushki, Bayu
For the Salt Lake Choral Artists: Brady Allred, Artistic Director.
First performance given 20 February 2015 at St. Ambrose Church, Salt Lake City by Salt Lake Choral Artists; Brady Allred, conductor; Laurel Palmer and Leslie Anderson, piano.
When I was approached to write an arrangement of a lullaby from anywhere around the world, I was immediately drawn to the haunting melody of the Russian folk song "Bayu, Bayushki, Bayu." Fascinated by the way the melody and lyrics combined could evoke a harsh and cold landscape with immense depth and profundity, I decided to expand on these with a stark piano accompaniment in the opening section, invoking the sounds of a balalaika. As the singers seem to drift off to sleep mid-verse, a new spirit, with a more anxious undertone, emerges. While many lullabies have a peaceful or tranquil tone, "Bayu" contains the terrifying threat of a wolf coming to steal you while you sleep. I found these atypical lyrics refreshingly different, delightfully troubling, and even potentially nightmare-inducing to a slumbering child.
"Bayu, Bayushki, Bayu" was a gift to the Salt Lake Choral Artists conducted by Brady Allred in Salt Lake City, Utah as a contribution to their concert "Lullabies of the World," (20 February 2015) inspired by the international project of the same name conceived by VOICE and Europa Canta.
Published by Hinshaw Music
Lyrics: Russian Folk Song