work details


  • Instrumentation: SSAA, piano
  • Completed: December 2017
  • Duration: 3 minutes
  • Texts: "When a compass is broken" by Megan Levad
  • Audio:
    • Broken

      Miami University Choraliers

      William Bausano, conductor; Cloie Dobias, piano
      World premiere recording

  • Commission and Dedication:

    Commissioned by the Miami University Choraliers, William Bausano, conductor, and supported, in part, by Patty Morrison, Class of 1980 and Choralier member, 1978-1980

  • Program Note:

    Broken is simple and repetitive music. My use of repetition is deliberate, as these cyclic patterns of behavior and anxiety are the manifestation of our brokenness. Megan Levad’s poem “When a compass is broken” captures this isolation perfectly. Her words resonate deeply with me, as I hope they will also with those who sing and hear them. Once we recognize our cycles, our awareness expands, and we begin the necessary step of breaking our patterns and being reborn anew.

    This music is humbly dedicated to my dear friend William Bausano and the Miami University Choraliers.

    -- Dominick DiOrio
    December 2017

  • Text:

    "When a compass is broken"
    ​by Megan Levad
    from What Have I to Say to You (2017)      


    When a compass
    is broken

    it can be replaced

    needle, cork, shallow dish
    is all it takes

    More difficult
    is learning

    the compass is broken

    That part takes decades
    of wandering in the desert

  • Performances:
    • May 9, 2018 (premiere)
      Miami University Choraliers
      William Bausano, conductor
      Hall Auditorium - Miami University - Miami, OH