Since 1994 I have had an on-going association with the city of Galway in Ireland. Initially this was through the Cois Cladaigh Chamber Choir which presented a concert of works of mine in that year, and has subsequently performed and recorded other pieces. Another choir in the city that has included my music in their repertoire was the NUIG Choral Society under the direction of Peter Mannion. This university choir had sung my Nunc Dimittis at a competition in 2005 and the conductor was keen to have something new for their next year’s repertoire. He asked if I might consider a new setting of the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father who art in heaven…), but setting the text in Irish.
The opening section, marked ‘serenely, with great spaciousness’, establishes the tonic key of D major securely. The music unfolds from an initial unison D, through simple tonal chords set against an on-going D in the 1st altos. The remainder of the work is largely chordal, using relatively simple tonal chords centred on the key of D major. The scoring is for unaccompanied SSAATB voices.
This short work was written for Jennifer Murray who, with her church-based youth choirs in Christchurch, had been a long-time supporter of my choral music. The text is a short traditional Afro-American spiritual text about the Old Testament character Daniel. The music is lively and harmonically quite simple.
This setting completes a quartet of pieces written in early 2005 which set traditional Afro-American spiritual texts. Each is for a different combination of voices, here SSATB choir is accompanied by a player on congas. The music uses typical melodic and rhythmic ideas from the Afro-American gospel/spiritual tradition. The text is an extended plea to God to not be forgotten, when in trouble, or when dying, or when the world is consumed by fire.
Don Sergio’s Dream was inspired by an improbable but true story about Don Sergio, who built a car from junk found in his small Brazilian village and drove it to the ocean, a journey of around a thousand miles.