BRATTLEBORO -- Call it a second chance at love.
In 2010, Paul Dedell’s "Songs of Divine Chemistry," a musical exploration of the wondrous intersection of the science and the poetry of love, was given its world premiere by the Brattleboro Concert Choir and the Limbic System Percussion Ensemble.
And that might have been that.
But that is not that, thanks to the creation of Winged Productions, a new venture of Paul and Susan Dedell’s to create a series of events that explore love, life and the ways in which biology, psychology and spirituality are connected.
The first event, a symposium led by Dr. Lesley Fishelman on "The Divine Biology of Love" happened last weekend.
This weekend brings a second chance at love -- a new performance of a revised version "Divine Chemistry" by a new ensemble of performers.
"For me, having the opportunity to do this piece again is just one of these remarkable moments," said Paul Dedell. "It’s a totally humbling experience to see people give that much dedication to something you wrote. ... It’s a singular experience. It couldn’t be more gratifying."
This new version of "Songs of Divine Chemistry" will be performed on Sunday at 4 p.m., at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St. The day before, the musicians will be at Guilford Sound, recording the piece.
Music Director Susan Dedell leads the performance by Winged Voices, the Jubilee Girl’s Choir, the Limbic System Percussion Ensemble and Matt Hensrud, tenor.
Winged Voices is an ensemble of some two dozen skilled local singers, joined by the angelic youthful voices of the Jubilee Girl’s Choir. These singers make up a smaller ensemble that Brattleboro Concert Choir, a decision made to accommodate the requirements of recording and to give the piece and smaller, more intimate sound.
The Limbic System Percussion Ensemble features local percussionist Julian Gerstin and six percussionists from New York City assembled by Bill Solomon and playing marimba, vibraphone, ethnic drums, bells, gongs, and myriad other percussion instruments.
The origins of "Songs of Divine Chemistry" have their root, like love itself, in a coincidental magical spark. He found himself reading, at the same time, Daniel Ladinski’s translations of poems by mystics like Rumi and St. Francis and Dr. Norman Doidge’s book on neuroplasticity, "How the Brain Changes Itself." Dedell was struck by the similarities between the mystics and the scientists.
"It’s interesting how those worlds overlap," he said. "It’s all very connected, and in its way, it’s very joyful ... it’s the ‘brain on love.’"
"Songs of Divine Chemistry" is musical exploration of the overlap of those worlds and the wonder expressed both through science and poetry. The piece is by turns provocative, passionate, lyrical, funny and tenderly poignant.
Pleased with the premiere performance, which took place at the Latchis Theatre in January 2010, Dedell knew there were revisions he wanted to make. Most of them are minor in nature -- subtle changes to voicings and instrumentation -- but he has composed a new final movement.
After Sunday’s performance, Dedell hopes the recording and new score will help inspire other choral groups to do the piece.
Admission to Sunday’s performance at Centre Congregational Church is by suggested donation of $15.
Winged Production events continue through 2014. The next presentation is "Three in the Wilderness," a new Mystery Play with puppets by Finn Campman and score by Paul Dedell, performed April 10-13 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.
For more information, call Winged Productions at 802-348-7735 or visit stmichaelsvermont.org/wingedproductions.