Due South is one in a series of four choral suites that explore the cultural and natural wonders of various regions of North America. Stephen Chatman's choral settings are broad in scope and tone; the tone painting evokes the stunning landscapes and their diverse communities, and the music works perfectly with the text of poet Tara Wohlberg to capture the enchanting world of the South.
Arise is the short opening of this suite of five pieces and is set to glorious homophonic music with rising motives in the lower voices. What's Cookin'? takes its sweet time tantalizing the listener with all the menu items of a truly Southern feast. Music, set to a slow tempo in swing eighths, makes the recitation tempting, if not downright sultry. Bugs is a soundscape of insects and their songs. Precise vocal effects make this challenging but also whimsical, and the result is pure fun. Love, O Love recalls an old-fashioned love letter in which the writer compares the beloved to the moon and the sun and pledges eternal love. Lastly, a perfectly apt finale to this choral suite, Kentucky Derby begins with a nod to My Old Kentucky Home and then it's off to the races, literally. The text is declaimed rapidly in partner-song format, almost as if the chorus is calling the race as it progresses. Truly, "...a wild ride!"