let all mortal flesh keep silence

mixed SATB choir; 5 minutes

"Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" happens to be one of my favorite hymns, and I was delighted when Noel Edison suggested I use the text for a new work. However, it was not until I started writing that I was reminded how laden were these words. Not only is the text deeply contemplative and moving, but its many settings by other composers have left a musical footprint the flow of the words. It was because of this, that after several unrelated musical inventions, I abandoned the "new" music and returned to the original Picardy theme for my inspiration.  All aspects of the melody are preserved, though very much re-invented or buried. My music reflects both the austerity and great hope that the text portrays. The choral textures are thick and luscious but, at times, ambiguously light and dark. These rich harmonies pay homage to the rich history of worship in song.

Premiering July 31, 2005 at St. John's Church, Elora

The Elora Festival Singers
   Noel Edison, director

Recorded excerpts