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Recording of my festive ‘Gratias Deo’

October 17th, 2018 | Posted by mikaelcarlsson in composition | concerts

Earlier this year, I traveled with my beloved choir to the International Choral Festival in Cork, Ireland. Such trips always have a team-building quality, but this one was special in the way the choir came together on a purely musical level, in terms of energy. By heart, we sang a slow and hushed hymn by Estonian composer Pärt Uusberg, Meie isa palve, a setting in Estonian of the Lord’s prayer. As we performed this piece many of the choir members had a sensational, “out-of-body” experience, supremely spiritual – one where we touched each others’ souls with our singing, breathing together like one body, sharing several minutes of the most intimate musicality one can imagine. This unforgettable experience inspired me to write a new piece, completely different in style, but with lyrics (that I wrote myself) thanking God for all that the experience of singing can give us. The result is this piece, Gratias Deo, which quickly became a favourite for the choir with a lot of fun passages in alternating 7/8 and 5/8 meters. Here is a recording of the piece performed by Haga Motettkör conducted by Ulrike Heider.

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