Napili Bay, 2PM
An a cappella setting for mixed chorus of a poem by J.A.C. Redford. This piece can be found on the CD Evening Wind, available in the Store.

Duration: 5' 15"
Difficulty: 4/5

Click here to view score.
The Redford Family has spent many vacations near the shores of Napili Bay, a few miles north of Maui’s old whaling port of Lahaina. The strait between Maui and the broad conical rise of Lana‘i beyond affords an ever-changing kaleidoscope of aquatic blues and greens, brilliant red clay soil, patchworks of pineapple fields dappled with sunlight streaking through billowy, dark-gray clouds in the distance. The scene is further-enchanted at all hours by wide-banded rainbows. The ocean laps the shore in a mesmerizing rhythm, but at 2 PM, the sun reaches an angle of refraction into Napili Bay that turns the water into a sea of diamonds as far as the eye can see. (Peter Rutenberg, Music Director, Los Angeles Chamber Singers, from the liner notes for Evening Wind | Choral Music of J.A.C. Redford)
Napili Bay, 2PM
J.A.C. Redford (1953- )

And now the hour of sun has come
when the sea is adorned with diamonds,
a chemise of spun silver slung
about her undulant shoulders.

She swells and roars with love, birthing
heads of swimmers, silhouetted,
floating slowly toward the shore
where bodies form to stretch and splay upon the sand.

We are water creatures, dwelling
on a water planet, curled from
cells that gel and mingle, immersed,
’til born on a breaking wave, we surf
into the world, thirsty as hell,
eager to nurse at water-fed milk-white springs.

Yet water may become an enemy,
to the mind inclined to dryness:
we can’t abide the tide, we try
to avoid the rain, umbrella-ed,
’til inside again we drink it in
in cupfuls ‘til it swills and spills in tears.

Then water-crossed and baptized, we are
blessed and tested with vineblood,
cleansed, renewed against an end
where all is dry, dust-dry,
all evaporated to the sky.

And even then, sky swells with grace,
rain-seed swims through space
to seek the sea’s embrace.

And now the hour of sun has come
when the sea is adorned with diamonds.

Copyright ©2002 by J.A.C. Redford. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Commission & Performance History
Napili Bay, 2PM was commissioned by Zephyr: Voices Unbound and premiered on 28 March 2003 in Pasadena, CA. Grammy Award-winning Peter Rutenberg and Los Angeles Chamber Singers included the work in their 2005 concert series and recorded it in 2006 for their CD Evening Wind: Choral Music of J.A.C. Redford. Napili Bay, 2PM was one of four new works Rutenberg and LACS featured at the opening concert of the 2007 Chorus America convention. It has since been performed by choruses across the United States, including the Chicago Chamber Choir with Artistic Director Timm Adams as part of their Water Music concert series, de Angelis Vocal Ensemble led by Matthew Gray at the Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano, and the Millennium Consort at Pomona College, under the direction of Martin Neary.