[A reminder: this video is an electronic rendering of the score using choral samples, offered to give listeners a sense of the composition. As such, the performance doesn’t include the lyrics — see those below. When a live performance is available, I’ll be removing this video and replacing it with that.]

This movement is a send-up of what shopping was like at the beginning of the pandemic lock-down. The lyrics are free verse, there is no formal structure besides the lyrics and a repeated motif. After the opening call-to-arms, the dynamics and pitch rise until reaching the climax. The entire piece is 45 seconds long.

From a theory perspective, the piece is written more-or-less in Lydian mode, bouncing between two such scales a major second apart. I used scales based on the key signature’s 4th and 5th degrees (which provides Lydian for both with the least amount of accidentals). For example, the piece starts with a B♭ major key signature, but bounces between E♭ and F Lydian scales. In its short length, the piece cycles up by major seconds, arriving at the original key by the last three measures.


It’s time! It’s time!
We have our masks, we’ve sanitized,
We haven’t even been outside,
For all these twelve long weeks,
Make sure the car will start just fine,
And has the needed gas,
We need so many things.
The groc’ry list is in our hands,
And at the very top is
Toilet paper.

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