The Ecstatic Pilgrimage


The Ecstatic Pilgrimage is Leo Smit's enormous, six-cycle song group, which sets 76 poems of Emily Dickinson.

Smit discovered Dickinson's poetry in 1988, and The Ecstatic Pilgrimage was composed between 1988-1990. Nils Vigeland wrote that the songs of The Ecstatic Pilgrimage:

"...represent an extraordinary response to the poetry itself but also a declaration of personal affinity by the composer towards the poet. Leo referred to the composing of these songs as the happiest time in his creative life. In listening to them, one is struck by their consistency. They get right to the text. It isn't that the words aren't illustrated or inflected, but there is something else pushing the music forward. The songs are about the satisfaction of finding the notes in the words."

The sheet music for Childe Emilie and The White Diadem are available to purchase through Theodore Presser or Sheet Music Plus. For inquiries about Leo Smit and to obtain sheet music for the additional cycles, please contact Nils Vigeland at [email protected]

The six song cycles of The Ecstatic Pilgrimage:

1. Childe Emilie
2. The Celestial Thrush
3. The Marigold Heart
4. Beyond Circumference
5. Tinted Mountains
6. The White Diadem

Audio PLaylist