Sunday, March 13, 2005

"In Whatever Time We Have" from Children of Eden

"In Whatever Time We Have" from Children Of Eden. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

"In Whatever Time We Have" is an absolutely gorgeous duet between Japeth and Yonah. Japeth has hidden Yonah on the ark, and they sing about even though she is sure to be discovered at some point, they will be together and be happy for however long they have. This song and this show holds a lot of personal meaning for me.
It begins very lightly with Japeth singing the melody over arpeggiated chords. The vocal line sounds very improvised, he doesn't always sing the rhythms exactly as written (something very common in musical theatre land) and it makes the lyrics sound so honest and free. There are tons of suspensions in the accompaniment. It continues on like this for a bit, but when we break away from the motive that has been in the melody thus far, it gets a little louder and the density in the accompaniment increases, as if Japeth is becoming desperate to convince Yonah that everything will be ok. The rhythm here also changes slightly. Thus far there have been mostly eighth notes, now the vocal line becomes more sustained with half notes.
When Yonah comes in, the vocal parts overlap slightly, which is a very pretty effect. Yonah sings the second verse, and Japeth has his own part that goes with hers harmonically very well, but he sings different lyrics than her. It creates an interesting texture, making the second verse much more interesting than if it was being sung exactly the same again. They alternate singing for a while, but then when they come together it is incredible. They have been singing this gorgeous flowing melody made up of mostly eighth notes so far. All of the sudden, the orchestra becomes really full and there is a very strong and noticeable drum beat. They come in and they both sing quarter notes being repeated on the same pitch. The fact that now the rhythm is so strict, it's like they have come to the decision that they are in this together no matter what. They sing: "From this day forward nights won't seem so black. From this day forward I will never look back. In whatever time we have." They go on, they are belting, it is big it's loud, and it is so powerful. They sing great harmonies from here until the end. The end returns to the same calm, light, flowing feeling that the beginning had. The song is just so honest, I love it. This show and Stephen Schwartz are brilliant.

No comments: