This is How You Love


A moving multi-movement work about the depth of relationships. Co-composed by Jocelyn Hagen and Timothy C. Takach.

SKU: GP-T016 Category:



Voicing: SATB a cappella

Level: 4

Duration: 10+ minutes

To see perusal score, please contact Jocelyn.

















From our “COLLABORATION” series.
This multi-movement work explores the depths of relationships – infatuation, need, companionship, conflict, compromise, and love. Co-composed by Jocelyn Hagen and Timothy C. Takach, the libretto is a mixture of different poets, threaded together with transcripts from couples’ therapy sessions. The music is immediately accessible, and will take your singers and audience on a deeply meaningful emotional journey. Perfect as a half of an evening program, this work will be a centerpiece of your season.




1. Vow I’ll love you until stars fall. Can this be So sure, so lasting as my heart demands Of one, whose slightest touch upon my hands Is like the wind inside an aspen tree? I am in doubt of this frail thing I hold So sworn to constancy, and this is why: Too often I have watched a burnt-blue sky Where slipping stars spilled scarlet and grew cold. – Florence Hynes Wilette, used with permission 2. Disclosure #1 Voice 1: Here is my happiness; I’m turning it all over to you. Choir: What do you feel? Voice 1: Here’s my future well-being. I’m entrusting my life to you. Treat me gently, because I’m all in your hands. Choir: What do you feel? Voice 1: Scared. I’m giving you my future. Part of me feels elated and part of me feels scared. I’m excited by the possibilities, but I’m also scared. I might goof it up, and I’d have only me to blame. – Couples therapy session, Dr. Ellyn Bader, used with permission 3. 3:29 a.m. Leave the lights off. Leave only sound. Leave only skin. Leave only you, each rib, for counting. – Julia Klatt Singer, used with permission I don’t Need magic, I need your arms around me At 3:29 a.m. when The dark Is too much, I Need you to be real When nothing Else is. – a.r. asher, used with permission 4. the love song of empty spaces We commit to memory the sound of ice melting in a glass, the amber glow of a streetlight and the darkness just out of its reach Tucked neatly behind your folded arms lie all the secrets this land has buried truths you promise to tell me when the wind is right. There is no need for words with this still life between us. We can see our future in this fading sky, can read each other’s minds in the scent of late summer rain. – Julia Klatt Singer , used with permission 5. Disclosure #2 Voice 1: I miss the closeness. I don’t like the emptiness. I’ll do what I can to be close again. Voice 2: I’m touched. Voice 1: I’m just being a romantic. Voice 2: You’ll do that? Voice 1: Sure. – Couples therapy session, Dr. Ellyn Bader, used with permission 6. Hungry (composed by Timothy C. Takach) Pulled hot from the dryer, the flannel sheets turn our bed into a cocoon, a refuge where hungry bodies blend. See how the years together have turned us softer, and sweet. And still, there is the keen blade of our desire, that constant heat. When our twin bodies meet under the blankets, we recognize one another in a world beyond language, hand to hand, mouth to mouth, pressed tightly together as we sleep. We’re much alike, yet still unique. When we share a bed, we sing. – William Reichard, used with permission 7. Disclosure #3 Voice 1: Are you angry at me? Voice 2: I’m getting there. Voice 1: Tell me what you’re angry about. Voice 2: That my wanting to spend time with you is somehow wrong. It seems like that should be positive, not negative. Are you angry at me? Voice 1: I’m angry that getting you to do anything outside our cozy little home is like pulling teeth. You don’t want to grow anymore. That frustration makes me angry. I feel like you are holding me back. That I am holding myself back. – Couples therapy session, Dr. Ellyn Bader, used with permission 8. Endurance We have endured a distance of continents We have endured A distance of words We have endured A drought We have endured A rainstorm We have endured Conflict and boredom Burnt toast, daycare, laundry, tuition and not answering the phone We have endured Adjustment Obligation Promise Vow We have endured Our love And our fear. We will endure. – Jorges Arenas, used with permission 9. Disclosure #4 (composed by Timothy C. Takach) Voice 1: I miss the way we were. I’m afraid the future you want is less and less of something that matters to me. Do you know what I mean? Voice 2: I understand, but how else are you going to grow and change if you don’t do new things and have new experiences? Voice 1: There are a lot of things you can find inside, too. I think we want the same thing. Voice 2: Me too. – Couples therapy session, Dr. Ellyn Bader, used with permission 10. needle & thread (composed by Jocelyn Hagen) you the brought needle & I brought the thread. we meant to mend our two broken hearts, but we ended up stitching them togeth er – Amanda Lovelace, used with permission 11. Love/Light Even after all these years, the Sun never says to the Earth “You owe Me.” Look what happens— with a Love like that, it lights the whole sky. – Hafiz, trans. Ladinsky, “The Sun Never Says” from The Gift, copyright 1999 by Daniel Ladinsky, and used with permission. yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: yours is the darkness of my soul’s return you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars. – E. E. Cummings, “silently if, out of not knowable” from COMPLETE POEMS: 1904-1962, by E. E. Cummings, Edited by George J. Firmage, is used with the permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. Copyright (c) 1963, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust. 12. Disclosure #5 (composed by Jocelyn Hagen) Voice 1: It was a very hard time but it forced us to find new ways. We had to find new ways to be, to live, and to work together as a family, and we did. We all found some new ways. Voice 2: I feel a relief, a release to some feelings I didn’t even know I was still carrying. Voice 1: I feel happy that we’ve had a chance to share this experience together. – Couples therapy session, Dr. Ellyn Bader, used with permission 13. Anniversary Maybe it wasn’t strange to find drums and cymbals where there might have been violins, maybe we couldn’t have known; besides, would it have mattered? Look at this hand, this arm: the thick scar across the knuckles, another in the palm, a ragged one running along the forearm. And you: I know your scars at midnight by touch. Everything we’ve learned, we’ve picked up by ear, a pidgin language of the heart, just enough to get by on: we know the value of cacophony; how to measure with a broken yardstick; what to do with bruised fruit; reading torn maps, we always make it home, riding on empty. And whatever this thing is–palace? cottage?–we remember putting it up, every beam, sighting it skew, making it plumb eventually; and here it stands, stone over rock, and on the simple hearth is our own cricket; and in the walls there are secret passages leading to music nobody else can hear; and somewhere in a room that’s not yet finished there are volumes in our own hand, telling troubled tales, promises kept, and promises still to keep.


– Philip Appleman, used with permission

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