Caroline Mallonée: SEARCH (2015)

Search (2015)

SATB or SSAA a cappella

7 minutes

3 movements

words and music by Caroline Mallonée

I. Curiosity (Why are...?)

Why are...?
Why are barns red?
Why are manhole covers round?
Why are bugs attracted to light?
Why are flamingoes pink?
Why are some people left-handed?

Why are primary sources important?

Why are yawns contagious?
Why are people so mean?
Why are polar molecules asymmetrical?

II. Desperation (How do I? How do you?)

How do I get a passport?

How do I unlock my iPhone?

How do I register to vote?

How do I write a book?

How do I start a blog?

How do I renew my passport?

How do you get freckles?

How do you get dimples?

How do you get dreadlocks?

How do you get lice?

How do you get jaundice?

How do you get hepatitis?

How do you get gout?

How do you get mono?

How do you get shingles?

How do you get ulcers?

How do I improve my credit?

How do you get scabies?

How do I sign up for Netflix?

How do you get ringworm?

How do I vote absentee?

How do you get thrush?

How do I tie a tie?

How do you get pinkeye?

How do I open a coconut?

How do you get warts?

How do you get knighted?

How do you get skintags?

How do you get into the CIA?


How do I multiply fractions?

                        How do you know if you love someone?

How do you get hiccups?

How do I enable cookies?

How do you get lupus?

How do I reset my iPhone?

                        How do I live without you?

How do you get zits?

How do I take a screenshot?

How do you get scurvy?

How do I make French toast?

                        How do I love thee?

How do you get TB?

How do you eat a kumquat?

How do you get cold sores?

How do you get rid of hiccups?

How do you get rid of fruitflies?

How do you get rid of bedbugs?

                    How do I love thee?

How do you?

How do you?



III. Contemplation (I Wonder Why)

Why do cats purr?

Why do dogs howl?

Why do we yawn?

Why do we dream?

Why do people blush?

I wonder why,

I wonder why, I wonder why.

Why does hair turn grey?

Why is the sky blue?
Why is the ocean salty?

Why is a sunflower yellow?

I wonder why,

I wonder why, I wonder why.

To listen to more choral music by Caroline Mallonée, click here.

Search was commissioned by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City for Radio Radiance. The text was assembled by the composer from the suggestions Google makes when one types a question word into a search bar. In the piece, various characters emerge, at times curious, desperate and contemplative. Someone wonders why certain things are the way they are (“Why are barns red?”); someone is frustrated with technology (“How do I unlock my iPhone?”); someone asks how to eat different kinds of food (“How do I open a coconut?”); there is a hypochondriac (How do I get jaundice?”); and someone asks about love (“How do you know if you love someone?”). The questions are layered contrapuntally in the first movement (Curiosity). Three different kinds of music are layered on top of one another in the second movement (Desperation), creating a polytonal effect. In this movement, the choir may be divided physically and/or may be panned on the radio into two different speakers. The close harmonies in this movement are meant to evoke music that might have been heard on the radio in the 1930’s. The third movement (Contemplation) is homophonic, and reveals that many of these questions are timeless.

“Probably the most talked-about piece on the entire program!”

            --Kayla Werlin, conductor

               Longmeadow, MA

Listen to the premiere performance by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City:

Now available from Swirly Music!

Listen to a radio interview with Caroline Mallonée about how she came to write the piece:

Watch a video of Longmeadow High School performing Search in 2015: