« Opera Somnia » nominated for Best Experimental Song at the CARA Awards
« Opera Somnia » nominated for Best A Cappella Song at the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards

From Sea to Sea is an original a cappella song cycle written by Toronto composer, Aaron Jensen. It is an exploration of the human voice and a celebration of Canadian verse. Penned between 2007 and 2013, the completed thirteen piece series pays tribute to Canadian poets from every province and territory, commemorates the country’s many cultural and folk traditions, explores the versatility of the unaccompanied voice, and features a range of musical genres as diverse as the nation itself. Jensen navigates through the diverse texts, drawing on a full spectrum of vocal colours – from the lush choral textures of Remember Thee! to the strident whoop and holler of Uncle Josh – from the overtone-rich, Inuit-inspired Uvavnuk Dreams to the percussive minimalism of Eunoia. These performances have been captured through acoustic choral recordings, such as The Tramps and Beatitudes, as well as contemporary studio works, Pulse, Poems in Braille, and Opera Somnia.

From Sea to Sea premiered on May 12th, 2013 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre as part of SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival. The song cycle was first performed by The Elmer Iseler Singers, The Elora Festival Singers, Cawthra Park Chamber Choir, Countermeasure, and the SING! Singers featuring Denzal Sinclaire.

Aaron Jensen is an internationally published composer, arranger, and performer based in Toronto, Canada. Best known for his vocal works, Jensen’s creative offerings are performed widely across North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. His music is played on syndicated radio stations worldwide. In 2011, Jensen was awarded the grand prize by the International John Lennon Songwriting Competition in the jazz category. In 2009, he completed his first orchestral commission which premiered in Florence, Italy and has since been performed in Brazil, Turkey, and France. His first full-scale musical theatre work, O.E.D. Dementia, Devotion and the Writing of the Oxford English Dictionary premiered in 2006 at the E. A. Rawlinson Center. Jensen, an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre, studied composition at York University. He was born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Track List:

1. Sing me the songs I love, once more 4:50
The SING! Singers
Text: John Reade (QC)

2. Eunoia 3:46
Text: Christian Bök (AB)

3. Uncle Josh 3:08
The Elmer Iseler Singers
Text: Samuel Cooper

4. Uvavnuk Dreams/The Great Sea 7:06
The Elmer Iseler Singers and The SING! Singers feat. Scott Peterson
Text: Unavnuk (NU)

5. Spell for Jealousy 3:51
The Elmer Iseler Singers
Text: Jeni Couzyn (BC)

6. Remember Thee! 4:23
Cawthra Park Chamber Choir
Text: George Frederick Cameron (NS)

7. Poems in Braille 6:38
KAJAK Collective feat. Andrea Koziol
Text: Gwendolyn MacEwan (ON)

8. Onions 5:34
Text: Lorna Crozier (SK)

9. Beatitudes 4:59
Cawthra Park Chamber Choir
Text: Herménégilde Chiasson (NB)

10. The Tramps 3:31
The Canadian Men’s Chorus
Text: Robert Service (YT)

11. Pulse 3:56
The SING! Singers feat. Denzal Sinclaire
Text: Shane Koyczan (NT)

12. Rain in the Country 3:02
The Elmer Iseler Singers
Text: Lucy Maude Montgomery (PE)

13. Opera Somnia 4:32
Text: Sylvia Legris (MB)


« The result is a delightful and most interesting variety of styles within the one work, perfectly matching Jensen’s description of the « abundance of wit, craft, and poignancy » of the texts. In addition to expressing through the genres of folk, classical and jazz, he invokes overtones of Inuit throat singing (Uvavnuk Dreams), pointillist notation mirroring the Braille alphabet (Poems in Braille), bodhrán rhythms (Rain in the Country), as well as many more highly effective musical sketches and characterizations.  » – Dianne Wells, the WholeNote

« This past month, I have had a love affair with Canadian composer, Aaron Jensen’s new Centrediscs album ‘From Sea to Sea’….I found myself humming and singing [the music] throughout the day; it is very memorable. […] Gorgeous, pitch perfect, beautiful relaxed vocal production, and effortless intonation. […] This recording is stellar. ‘From Sea to Sea’ stands out by expanding the range of choral timbre, using electronic effects, and by writing in a truly wide variety of styles. The performances by numerous Canadian choirs are excellent. […] I often wonder what the future of choral music is; this album answers that question, recognizing and honouring our choral traditions while boldly and successfully experimenting in contemporary music and the avant garde. »– Domenic Gregorio, Anacrusis