Despertar al Amor (Awaken to Love)


Teresa of Avila & Buddhist adage

Mark Sirett, director of Cantabile Women's Chorus, (Kingston, ON) asked me to compose a new work in Spanish for a 2011 program, "Paths of Miracles." This special concert was an exploration of sacred and secular music of Spain tracing a path along El Camino de Santiago—the Way of St. James, a pilgrim route still traveled by hundreds of thousands each year. I researched camino history, read pilgrim blogs, and created a text using words of the Buddha, Teresa of Avila, and the traditional Pilgrim greeting: "Ultreia! Suseia!" (upward and onward)

The steady footfalls of the camino pilgrim are to be heard in the drum part of "Despertar al Amor." The melody climbs through ascending tonal centers while the tempo never wavers.


Item Voicing/Instrumentation Duration Price Audio View Score Quantity
Licensed PDF
SSAA, piano, cello, frame drum 4:15 $2.00
JS-033 digital purchase only $2.75
PDF download
cello part
piano,cello, frame drum 4:15 N/A
PDF download
drum part
surdo (may substitute low tom frame drum ) 4:15 N/A

Audio Credits: 

Cantabile Women's Chorus, Mark Sirett, director


Joan Szymko

Despertar al Amor

Antes de caminar,antes de poder viajar el camino

debes ser el camino mismo.



Y no está la cosa en pensar mucho,

sino en amar mucho;

y así lo que más os despertare a amar,eso haced.

Despertar! Despertar!
Despertar al amor!


Awaken to Love

Before you walk,before you can travel the path

you must become the path itself. (Buddha)

We go beyond!

We go upward!

(traditional greeting and response of pilgrims as they meet on the 
Camino de Santiago de Compestela)

And the thing is not to think too much,

but to love much;

and thus, do what most awakens you to love. (Teresa of Avilá)