American Prize Award

Be Still – Review

By Casey Cook, judge, The American Prize

What is truly remarkable about Bruce Babcock’s Be Still (especially as masterfully performed by The Crossing on their album Evolutionary Spirits) is the juxtaposition between the simplicity of the text and the multitude of emotions and images he is able to summon. Using just eight words of text, the piece evokes serenity, mystery, peace, fear, wonder, and joy in turn.

Like a master sculptor of sonic marble, Babcock carves out wonderfully energetic dissonances; never allowing an unneeded doubling to disrupt his perfect balance.