If I had to choose desert island words, The Song of Solomon would make the list: it is evergreen, sexy, and tasty to sing. Garden takes the form of a brief dialogue between the genders. Men and women weave in and out, saucy and vivid, first wooing each other, then singing together. Garden was commissioned by Tafelmusik Choir (Ivars Taurins, artistic director) in celebration of its 30th anniversary in 2012. I dedicate this new work to a wonderful choir whose singing I have known and loved for many years.

Lyrics (compiled by the composer from various translations)


My king lay down beside me
and my fragrance woke the night.

He lay all night between my breasts, my love a cluster of myrrh,
a cluster of henna blossoms
in the vineyards of Ein Gedi.

And you, my love, how beautiful you are!

Your eyes are doves.

You are beautiful, my king, and gentle. Wherever we lie our bed is lush.

The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.


Awake, O north wind! O south wind, come,

breathe upon my garden,
that its spices may flow out.
Let my love come into his garden and taste its delicious fruit.


Come, my beloved,
let us go forth into the fields

and lie all night among the flowering henna.

Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vine flourish,
if the blossoms have opened and the pomegranate bud forth. There will I give you my love.