By Ethan De Seife
September 11, 2013
In his poem “Auguries of Innocence,” William Blake writes of holding “infinity in the palm of your hand / And eternity in an hour” — a meditation on humankind’s ability to comprehend the limitlessness that surrounds us.
Blake is but one of the influences on the Emergent Universe Oratorio, an ambitious, cosmos-spanning musical work by Vermont classical guitarist and composer Sam Guarnaccia. In fact, Blake – along with environmentalist/writer Wendell Berry, poets Rainer Maria Rilke and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and scholar/philosophers Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker – is so strongly present in the oratorio that Guarnaccia credits them as “contributors.”