Premiered in June 2017 by the Larimer Chorale in Fort Collins, Colorado, "Climb" marks a dramatic new high in the collaborative output of Todd Boss and Jake Runestad. Written for full orchestra and choir, this seven-minute work begins on the eastern plains and rises to the peaks of human endeavor. Todd's commissioned text soars in an attempt to touch "all the glories of being alive."
[Excerpt] So lowly are we born, torn from mud and blood and pain,
and when we die, we are so lowly laid to rest, ash to ash, dust to dust,
we may see only lowliness, no grade, no slope, no hope of a view, the body laden, the soul a burden, the heart unheard in sorrows deep...
but we are asleep...
Read the full text, listen to the premiere, and order copies of the score here.
Divorce, estrangement, and a number of other stressors were upon me when this project presented itself, so maybe the text's words of encouragement were, in essence, a kind of self-talk. I've written maybe 20 commissioned poems and lyrics, and they always end up as deeply personal projects, landing right when I most need them.