Country Room

As sung by amateur chamber choir De 2de Adem in December 2022, Merelbeke, Belgium.

Suggested program note:
Country room is a piece about a place you once called home but have outgrown. You must leave that place in time, so that you can cherish the warm home of yesteryear. If you leave too late, the meaning of the place will be tarnished, because you yourself have changed, and you will endanger the warm memory. The work is about the fear, pain and ultimately assimilation that accompany it. The text I used is a poem by Ron Padgett (1942), an American poet whose work I discovered through the film Patterson.

Full text by Ron Padgett (USA, 1942):

Country Room
You are in a room
in the country
in a country
that has plenty of room

to walk around
You walk to one
end of the room,

turn and walk
out the door
into the room next
to the door

that leads out
to the country
side and to

so you turn
around and go
back in to
where you were.

But now the room
has advanced
in time ahead
of you and you

will have to hurry
up or else
the room will leave
you far behind.