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The text for Vive in Deo is a collection of inscriptions from Christian graves in the Roman catacombs from the first three centuries C.E. The music uses plainsong-like melodies and motifs drives from pigeon calls, a reference to the dove which was a symphony of the Holy Spirit, peace and love. The pigeon calls are those of the spotted turtledove, an Asian species introduced to Sydney, the North American mourning dove and the rock pigeon, found in most parts of the world. The music also uses several fragments from Brahms' Intermezzo in E minor, op.119; the opening of this piece sounds to me like a group of pigeons cooing in counterpoint. I remember my father playing this piece in my childhood, and this reference is my own musical inscription to his memory. Vive in Deo was commissioned by the St Louis Chamber Chorus, directed by Philip Barnes.
Commissioned by the St Louis Chamber Chorus
Performed by the Sydney Chamber Choir with director Paul Stanhope at St Scholastica’s convent, in Sydney