I feel that this is one of the most important arrangements I've written thus far in my musical career, frankly. Based on the transcendent recorded version by Kurt Elling, and arranged during the most uncertain time in at least my own lifetime, this prescient Paul Simon composition connects with our modern times in a way that a typical "chart description" is not fit to articulate. Its meaning, as it may relate to the current gaping political divide in the U.S. (mirrored in many countries worldwide, certainly) or certainly the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, will be best communicated by each group that performs it.
A tenor/baritone soloist is featured in the second verse, and the ensemble's texture ranges from the softest unison figures to gut-wrenching, massive chords toward the end ("You cannot be forever blessed...").
Fully Notated Piano and Bass Parts, Drums. Full score included
Commissioned by "Excalibur" from Fairview High School (CO), Janice Vlachos, dir. (2019)
Video: Paul Simon version
Video: Kurt Elling version
Video: School Group
Fairview High School's "Excalibur" version (2020)