Lay By Chamber Cantata in 4 Movements

by Edgar David Grana & Pamela Brunsvold Rummel



The composition of Lay By draws inspiration from Samuel Barber and James Agee’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, illustrating the sensation of memory through free forms, folk-like melodies, and florid instrumental writing. The piece is given unity through repeated melodic motives, stated at the beginning of each movement. The first movement takes the form of a rhapsody with sections divided by hymnal chord progressions. The second is the development of a repeated melody. The third is centered around an augmented arpeggio, and the fourth around a jubilant descending scale. The piece’s musical and textual trajectory is one that celebrates the values of hope and communion with nature.


released May 13, 2016

Text Pamela Brunsvold Rummel
Music Edgar David Grana
Countertenor Jordan Rutter
Clarinet James Noyes
Violin Claudia Schaer
Cello Tomas Ulrich



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Edgar David Grana Brooklyn, New York

Lyric Drama Tashi Tibet-Composer/Collaborator with book writer Pam Brunsvold Rummel China's invasion of Tibet. Ballet from the Beginning-Composer based on a story by Pam Rummel. Mr. Grana is recorded on ‘NEWPORT CLASSIC RECORDS’ with Kurt Vonnegut & jazz Saxophonist Michael Brecker, went double platinum with Kip Winger on Winger album. ... more

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Track Name: Lay By Full Performance
Around that hairpin road to our home, our lone unpainted wood framed home
Dirt yard swept daily at the end of the world
Into the world in silence, Mama so brave as the wood fire warmed us
Cold winds of fall blew through the cracks around Georgia windows
Mama pushed me into the world, I was a baby, her fourth
Death took Daddy from me, pneumonia. Prayers didn’t keep death away
Deacons threw dirt on his grave. Mama sang the roses were for you
Tears falling on the poem she penned by night.
Pa took us in, stern face, rules his long prayers
Pick and hoe, life blood cotton, cotton bonnet, tightly tied under my chin
I worked after school until moonlight, to light the way back home
I worked, worked under moonlight
Papa his long prayers, his stern face and rules, he took us in, Ma and Pa
My plate upside down until his long prayers were over and we fill our mouths
When uncle took the boys rifle hunting, was no sport in the acres of woods.
No sport hunting to put dinner on the table
Ma’s hands ev’ry morning, wrinkled hands rolling out the biscuits, sure hands
I kissed them rolling out the flour laughing, wrinkled hands, I kissed them.
Mama pouring cane syrup until we were sticky with love
I was a child of the South. I had what the others had
I was a child of the South

I sat and played around the quilt frame where women came to help Mama
Stitch her cotton quilts cut from pieces of our old clothes. Days seemed long.
Glory, Glory Land!
I heard whispers, the man in the big white house lost his wealth, took his life.
Cotton prices bottomed out, the great Depression, Black Friday
Glory Land!
Buried four babies in mason jars by the Chinaberry, still born, Grandma she buried them
Far too many funerals, I understood death
Death came often.

We children laughed, sadness cannot last forever. Mama, we are her children
New husbands home. We call him Mister, not Daddy for our Daddys gone
Deacon Franks’ wife sang every Sunday above the congregation
Women of the church with their big fans.The sermon of hell, brimfire scared me
What I do understand is nature. Nature and foxes that chase you home on red, clay roads
We gathered blackberries, legs full of scratches.I am a child too.
We ran free through pastures and woods, wild, free with life
Until one foot crossed the threshold door.
At night children talk softly, in our Southern drawl.

Watching dark men draw turpentine sap from the pines, girls stay home
Hearing men talk of war, we gathered near our radio, we came of age, rite of passage
Kissing brother farewell, handsome in his uniform, nothing remains but mem’ories Ahhh
A black sedan passes by, Mama praying each time it doesn’t stop. Ahhhhh
Macon bound, working by day, girl talk by night, Macon
Alongside my room mates in the plant, I a wild horse full of magic
We came of age, in the war, but I, I never listened craving love, adventure
Smiling servicemen, farm dirt still on my pumps, I gallop into dances.
I never listened
I did it, a mind of my own, not once did I look back
My life was “all mine.”