Song for the Song of the Hydroörganon

by Bardia Sinaee

You’ve gone about it all wrong with your soaring hymns,

With the great pipes of the organs reaching up.
Stare at the sun all you want; God dwells
Beneath the sea. My sin is
I never learned to swim. Fearing the long, low note,

How water siphoned every word
Into a pouch of air, I’d flounder there
Until my father fished me out.
He said we know from birth how not to drown,

And I searched for that memory
Like the crown of a sunken king, but always
Came up empty, gasping,
With the sound of water draining from my ears.

Composers' Note:

"Song for the Song of the Hydroörganon" by Bardia Sinaee points to the memories and experiences of being above and below the water. In this piece, we contrast this above and below with a Kyrie setting from J.S. Bach's Clavier-Übung III (Saito's most played piece), enhancing the soaring melody of the chorale and layering the accompaniment to create a murky, dream-like effect. In this way, we blur the lines between lucidity and the trance-like call of the depths. The way that the layered accompaniment bleeds over, overlaps, etc., but then comes together in occasional moments of unison, reflects that.

(Listen to the composition by Adrian Foster and Joel Peters inspired by Bardia's poem.)


Bardia Sinaee's poems have appeared in magazines throughout Canada. He lives in Toronto.