program notes by composition > S > Seal Lullaby

Seal Lullaby

Eric Whitacre

Seal Lullaby was composed for a proposed animated movie that ultimately was not made. The story is based on a tale by Rudyard Kipling which begins with this poem, sung softly by a mother seal to her pup:

Oh! Hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us,
At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, then soft be thy pillow,
Oh weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
Asleep in the arms of the slow swinging seas!

Eric Whitacre (b. 1970) is one of the most popular and performed composers of his generation. He earned degrees at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas and Juilliard. He writes music that incorporates contemporary sounds and influences. He is known for his use of unconventional chord progressions and rhythms that often involve mixed, complex, and/or compound meters and unusual patterns. “Ghost Train”, “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas”, and “October” are among his works which have achieved success in the symphonic wind community. In 2010 he signed a long-term performing contract with Decca. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Grammy-award winning soprano Hila Plitmann and their son.

Last updated on July 16, 2013 by Palatine Concert Band