The end of October brings Halloween, Samhain, Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, All Soul’s Day. Different forms of spirituality refer to this time in different ways, but all honor our ancestors. Next Sunday the Choir will express deep reverence for those who came before us, and have since walked on, with a beautiful adagio called “In Paradisum”.
The concept of “Paradise” has been around a long time. As a place of peace and happiness, it is imagined as the abode of the virtuous dead in Egyptian, Greek, Muslim, Celtic, Hindu, Hebrew, Christian, and many other traditions. The Latin words in this piece translate:
May angels lead you into paradise
May the martyrs receive you at your arrival
And lead you to the holy city Jerusalem.
May the choirs of angels receive you
And with Lazarus, once a man,
May you have eternal rest.
Composer Damien Kehoe credits the inspiration for his choral compositions to the influence of Whitacre, Palestrina, Bach, and Wagner. Like them, he sees himself experimenting with different harmonies and sounds for choral voices. Wait till you hear the Choir seek Paradise on Earth as they perform these experiments!