Paper Cranes

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
TBB, piano

The text of "Paper Cranes" contains the thoughts and images from the patients of Children's Hospital of Minneapolis and St. Paul, crafted by Julia Klatt Singer into a poem of metaphors and images from the hospital rooms. One can feel the contrast between the intangible and the tangible: dreams and machines, "wishes made of air" and "the world out there, made of steel, made of cranes." The word "cranes" has a dual meaning, and bridges the gap between the hospital and the outside world. It represents the construction cranes outside the windows, as well as the paper ones on the ceiling.

Perusal Score: 
Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
TCT-PaperCranes
Duration: 
4:30
Total Pages: 
10
Commissioned By: 
Commissioned for Healing and Hope Through Song, a program of the American Composers Forum, with partial funding provided by Saint Paul Cultural STAR.
Premiere
Premiere Date: 
05/22/2010
Premiere Ensemble: 
Premiered by the Minnesota Boychoir, Mark Johnson, Artistic Director.
Premiere Conductor: 
Mark Johnson
See video
Text
Text Author or Source: 
Julia Klatt Singer
Language: 
English
Text: 

Wings made of paper, wishes made of air
One sits by the window, so quiet
The world out there
Made of buses, made of clouds
Made of steel, made of cranes.

One sits by the window
Listens to the dreams
we dream, hears the hum
of each machine,
knows that
If you could see
the way my mind moves
You'd hear the music in me.

In my head, an endless number,
A bear with no name.
Some things will always be here
Do not need a name or end
Some things we'll never
Ever understand.

Blue's my favorite color
Ruby and Rose, my favorite names
The day after we're born
Is when our real life begins.

How does the crane carry
my wish on its wings?
How does the star rising,
hold my handprint
In its blaze?

A thousand cranes tied together,
left hanging cloud to cloud,
until tattered by the breeze,
and when they are broken
our wish begins.

- Julia Klatt Singer (2010)