Our Material World: Three Madonna Ballads for Choir, Flute, and Harp (2012)

Duration: 21′

1. Frozen (Ciccone/Leonard, 1998)
2. Live to Tell/Oh Father (Ciccone, Leonard, 1986, 1989)
3. Beautiful Stranger (Ciccone/Orbit, 1999; Flute Solo based on Emma
Fowler’s improvisation)

Instrumentation: SATB Choir (divisi), flute, and harp

Commissioned and Arranged for Choral Chameleon
Vince Peterson, Conductor

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Our Material World was composed and arranged for Choral Chameleon, exploring some of the ballads by pop icon Madonna.  This arrangement features three of her notable songs: Frozen, Live to Tell/Oh Father, and Beautiful Stranger.  Vince Peterson and I had spoken for months of doing this type of collaboration and I am so honored that Choral Chameleon will be premiering a performance of this composition, with the inclusion of flute and harp.  I have attempted to depict the mystical nature of Frozen as harmonies and textures are expanded from its simpler diatonic form.  Live to Tell/Oh Father, a combination of ballads, is mostly based on her arrangement from the renowned 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, questioning faith and seeking answers to uncertainty.  Our Material World closes with the well-known folky and upbeat Beautiful Stranger from the Austin Powers film franchise, including the flute arrangement heard in the 1998 recording, provided with the help from the actual performer on the soundtrack, UK flutist Emma Fowler.