Choir SATB (available also in SSAA)
Donna Ashworth’s beautiful poem Kinder Than Before is a tender view on the courage, kindness and resilience that the Corona pandemic has elicited around the globe – a luminous message of hope in these strained times. May my music mirror this beauty, tenderness and humanity.
The Eagle’s Song
Written for Luxembourgish pianist Romain Nosbaum, this bravura piece is drawing on Albanian colours and rhythms, and imitates the sound of a typically Albanian instrument, the two-stringed qifteli. Just like the very temperamental Albanian music, it goes from the peaks of liveliness and passion to the depth of sadness and sorrow – and back.
choir SATB and piano
Written for the 40th anniversary of Les amis du chant, one of Luxembourg’s leading choirs, the ‘Canto’ puts to music a litany penned specially for this occasion by Luxembourgish author and poet Guy Rewenig. This ‘secular requiem’ takes no less than five languages to list the many heartbreaking injustices afflicting our world. The music follows suit, clothing this stark recital in gravitas and awe, while adding tenderness to the sadness, as well as unexpected moments of luminous hope.
Create in Me a Pure Heart
soprano and piano
Written for amazing young singing talent Pardis Ajala from the UK, this song uses a beautiful prayer by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921). Initially slow and reverent, the music builds up to ecstatic levels, taking advantage of Pardis’ incredible singing range.
The Effulgence of Thy Face
soprano and piano
This piece is part of the incidental music to ‘Táhirih, a Mirror of the Dawn’, a dramatic presentation about the life of Fatimah Baraghani (1814 or 1817 to 1852), known among other titles as Táhirih (the Pure), a Persian poetess and early champion of women’s rights who was murdered by the government for her convictions. The lyrics are taken from one of her poems.
O God, My God
Composed for the 2017 edition of the Sydney Sacred Music Festival, this choir piece is using a simple yet stirring prayer by the Báb (1819-1850), consisting of a single verse. The music is my most earnest attempt to express the soul’s innermost longing to connect to its Creator.
Written after a serious hiatus without inspiration, overcoming the writer’s block is the victory here. A lot went on silently inside before this break-through could happen. The result is both both overwhelmingly joyful, as well as deeply serene.
Vallëzimi me erën – The Dance With the Wind
Written as a commission for Trier-based German choir PortaVoci on a poem by Petrit Beqiri (*1972), this piece describes the ecstasy of dancing as a portal to other levels of consciousness. The refrain is in the original Albanian language, while the rest is in German translation. Just like the language, the music alternates between a 7/8 Balkans rhythm and a more classical 6/8 beat to create a whirlwind of movement.