Composed Works

Most of Amado’s compositions have been for chorus or accompanied voice. This playlist contains demonstration recordings of some of the pieces detailed below. Please note: you can get a good idea of each piece from these recordings, but none are quite correct or complete.

Here is a selective list of compositions, with some details about each:

  • In My Eyes: Starlight – for three vocal soloists (S, A, B), clarinet, bassoon, french horn, and marimba. A setting of a haiku, the piece explores instruments in different combinations and an integration of some of the harmonic tropes of jazz music with the instrumentation of chamber music.
  • Melting Glaciers – for SATB chorus with piano accompaniment. Inspired by a conversation with the Radford Singers and their director, Dr. Meredith Bowen, on a viewing of the documentary Chasing Ice. It struck the composer that art can promote cultural change, and that an artwork that preaches does a poor job of it.
  • Tao Te Ching, Chapter 1 – for solo voice with piano accompaniment. A setting of Ursula K. Le Guin’s interpretive translation of the first chapter of Lao Tse’s Tao Te Ching.
  • Invitation to Sing – for SATB chorus with piano accompaniment. A setting of some words by the composer, on the topic of many people’s reluctance to lift their voices in song, and the past trauma that may have led to such a misfortune.
  • Love One Another – for SATB unaccompanied. A setting of some words adapted from Christian Gospel of John, about the new commandment that Jesus of Nazareth gave to his disciples. Explores some of the kinds of vocal textures that emerge naturally from Circlesinging techniques.
  • Dances for Piano – for solo piano, in two short movements. Not based on any traditional dances; just an attempt by the composer to get the piano to dance in two different moods.
  • Alas! Three Souls! – for two solo voices, piano, and contrabass. A setting of some words by the composer, on the topic of identity crisis. The reference to patricide in the second verse is a literary allusion to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, not in any way a reflection of the composer’s feelings toward his Dad, whom he loves dearly.
  • The Sick Rose – for soprano and oboe. A setting of a poem by William Blake.
  • A New Beginning – for SAB choir with piano and contrabass accompaniment. A setting of four haiku, in an introductory movement plus three sung movements.

Prior to formal instruction in composition, Amado wrote and recorded songs in current popular styles. Additionally, he wrote songs influenced by his exposure to Circlesinging. Some representative samples follow.

  • Be Who You Are – for SATB, soloist, and vocal percussion. A setting of words by the composer, on the topic of realizing your own individual potential. Emerged directly from practicing Circlesinging techniques.
  • You’re Ready – for mixed choir. Emerged from working with Circlesinging techniques.
  • Bad Mojo Karma – for solo voice with piano, electric bass, drum kit, and electric guitar. In the style of a Blues ballad, a setting of words by the composer, on the topic of “what goes around comes around.”
  • Lullabye for Bernice – for solo voice with piano accompaniment. A setting of words by the composer, on the topic of beloved pets and the question of what may be going on in their minds.

You can also hear Amado’s 1997 self-produced album Wanderlust on Soundcloud.