"far away"

from by Sage Lewis

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MEANING: Cuban and American children sing together, but not in the same place, as each choir performs the work with a video projection and audio playback of their choral counterpart. The libretto, a longing expression for friendship, is made of interviews Lewis did with both choirs, asking the children about their countries, the meaning of friendship, their fears, and their dreams. Using video projection to cross geographic distance and extreme political restrictions that separate the two societies, sound and video of the "far away" choir gets projected onto the live choir to create a holographic fantasy of physically uniting the children in song.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Santa Monica and Habana del Este. The children are singing together while standing on the edge of their nation's borders. The sea represents the space between different cultures and is seen in the background.

INFLUENCES: Arvo Pärt, Rufus Wainwright, Gregorian Chant

OTHER: The World Premiere took place on December 18 at the National Children's Chorus' winter concert "Nuestra Música" at Santa Monica's Broad Stage. This multi-media musical work is funded by Center Theatre Group's 2009 Sherwood Award celebrating innovation in the theatre.


If I could go anywhere in the world,
I would visit a place with music.
A place where there is a lot to learn,
water slides, go-karts, and a big wishing fountain.
Warm breeze, calm waves, with no light so I could see the stars.
Happy people, warm beaches, this is the island of my dreams.

Me gustaría conocer un campo donde abunden unicornios
con caparazón de tortuga.
Allí las nubes serán de algodón acaramelado.
Donde el chocolate y la vainilla sobren para comer todo lo que quieran y brindar a los de más.
Nunca haya noches y que no exista el dolor.
Tambien hadas habrá y al volar dejaran polvos.

My favorite part about the US is that it has all kinds of people from all kinds of places.
Anyone can become a star.
I love this country because of it’s freedom.
People take for granted our freedom of speech.

Lo que más me gusta de Cuba es su soberanía.


De mi país lo que más me gusta a pesar de las dificultades sabemos luchar trabajamos incansablemente, nos ayudamos entre todos y nunca nos damos por vencidos.

I love how there’s sunny weather in California.
I love baseball, it’s our national pastime.

Me gustaría que Cuba mejorara que el bloqueo fuera eliminado enfermos se mejoren.
Para mi Cuba es maravilloso así como es.

One thing that I would change about my country
is its outlook on the arts and music.
America should invest more in art,
stop with war, help people instead.
My country should be more understanding.
The US uses its power to aggressively dominate
and force other governments into changing.
This is a horrible last resort that should never be taken.

Gentle insistence with strong support
is the way to a better world.

More unity, less judging in the media, more privacy, healthy food, no racism, more kid friendly!

I like to see people taking better care of nature!

I hate darkness. I fear rejection, dying, tsunamis!
I am most afraid of my dreams not coming true, becoming a nobody, losing my family, being alone in the dark with spiders!
I am most afraid of war!
I don’t like opening my eyes in the shower!
I think something may be staring at me!

Yo le temo al bloqueo a que exista la violencia.

¡Yo a lo que tengo miedo es a dejar la escuela y que mis padres se separan, también que empeore el bloqueo que haya guerra en mi ciudad y que el mundo se acabe!

¡Lo que más le temo en la vida es a perder a mi familia a perder a mi país, a que los niños y las niñas por el bloqueo no puedan recibir sus medicinas, a perder a mis amigas y amigos ya que la escuela de música cierre y que yo no pueda estudiar lo qe me gusta!

I am most afraid of spiders because their furry legs
and eight eyes glancing at me creep me out!
I am most afraid of living forever!
Seeing the people that I love dying before my eyes and not being able to join them or stop them would be terrifying to me!
Someone that I love being gone forever!

Mis amigos son tal como me los imagine: expresivos, gran soñadores, compasivos. En el fondo tienen un buen corazon.

A friend is honorary family. You share your deepest thoughts, participate in each other’s emotions and care for them like nothing else mattered. Like always supporting somebody to share your knowledge and ideas without fear of cruel criticism.

Tengo una amiga que es cariñosa y en el fondo tiene un buen corazón. En los momentos buenos y malos siempre está conmigo consolandome en los momentos de llanta. Puedo compartir mis secretos. Ella me ayuda y siempre está a mi lado cuando necesito.

Ayudara en las cosas buenas y malas. Mis amigos son gran soñadores, compasivos y con ellos pudeo compartir mis secretos.

I have a best friend. He and I don’t always like the same thing.
He’s a friend because he always stands up for me when I’m in trouble.
Every time we say goodbye it feels like we are leaving forever.
It could almost be a romance but it’s not.

Si lo tuviera una amiga quisiera que fuera sincera, amable, fiel que me ayudara en las cosas buenas y malas.

Mis amigos son gran soñadores, compasivos y con ellos puedo compartir mis secretos.

Now I never take friendship for granted.
Friendships in this world are almost more important than almost anything.

Quiero que…

Quiero que eliminen el bloqueo. Somos hermanos tenemos el mismo derecho.


from POR AMOR: the album, released December 18, 2010
Composed and designed by Sage Lewis. Libretto and performances by Coro Diminuto and the National Children's Chorus. Conducted by Luke McEndarfer and Carmen Rosa Lopez. Cinematography by Aleigh Lewis. Produced by Malcolm Darrell, Patricia Garza, Cristina Demiany, and Osney Diago. Special thanks to Center Theatre Group, Chi-wang Yang, Peter Jensen, and Shannon Scrofano.



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Sage Lewis Los Angeles, California

Sage Lewis is a Los Angeles-based composer who writes for concert, theatre, film/video, branding, and new media. His music has appeared on Nintendo 3DS, at the Havana Film Festival, REDCAT, Maiyet, Miami Light Project, TMx, Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design, National Children's Chorus, TheatreForum Magazine, Discovery Channel, and the Academy of Arts & Television Sciences. ... more

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