Holden by Motoko Honda for USChoir CastiMotoko Honda and US Choir Castilleja High School
00:00 / 07:00

"Holden" is a choir work composed in collaboration with the students in US Choir at Castilleja High School during my artist residency in 2015.  Performed by US Choir members in their class room at the end of residency.  

*Please contact for Score duplication and performance permission.

Holden 1st page.jpeg


i’ve pulled all the old books off my shelves

no time to sit here counting pages

no time to sift through all the chaos that i loved and repented

no time to hold clutch it all as tightly as i wanted


the 3 AM petrichor is seeping through my skin, it tastes like peppermint tea

she has sparks in her eyes and i don’t think she sees me where i stand,

and the voltage of her voice splits me right in half.

i wonder where she is now, is she still awake?


good morning to the concrete and good morning thunder’s tantrums

good morning to the uncontainable quiet in the hours before dawn

good morning to you, Holden, i see you in the city

good morning to you, new york, i fell out of love with you all those years ago


it wasn’t all that hard to staple ourselves to the pages

the live wires coursing through our veins pulled radical, we got ourselves tangled in the words

but quotation marks couldn’t hold raw wonder or the way her eyes crinkle when she’s happy

i wish she spent more time being happy


i don’t think any of us can keep walking through the streets each morning

she had the kindest eyes this world ever lucked out enough to know

i remember the day she left the house last September

in a momentary afterimage, i saw her vitreous glance, her eyes glittering with expectation


good morning to the storytellers, to the silent midnight discos

good morning to the sweet-mango susurrus of the summer wind

good morning to you, Holden, I see you in the city

good morning to you, New York, I fell out of love with you all those years ago


my pain etches grooves into my mind, it makes me thoughtless

i don’t want to sound cliche, but i can’t carry all your records for you

i don’t want to live up to your expectations, or

maybe i’m wrong or maybe everything’s all made up. (it’s probably all made up)


hunters’ hats are all well and good until you have to deal with the real things,

until you have to teach yourself to hold your breath and count to ten

sort through the books piled on your bed: it’ll all be over soon.

this was just good morning, darling, now I think it’s become goodnight


So catch me if you can (stretch out ‘can’ over 3 measures- cool space for harmonies)

Catch me if you can (same stretch)

Catch me if you can (same stretch)

Don’t drag me to the edge now…

Catch me if you can. (no stretch)