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Nigel Westlake
1958 -
Australia
Picture
N. Westlake
Nigel Westlake (06/09/1958), an Australian composer, performer and conductor.
Missa Solis - Requiem For Eli
Period:21st century
Composed in:2011
Musical form:free
Text/libretto:English texts
Duration:40'40''
In memory of:the composer's son Eli
Label(s):ABC music 4765057
Missa Solis - Requiem for Eli for Symphony orchestra, SATB Chorus & male treble solo. The work is in 8 movements.
The first two movements Prologue and At the Edge take their cue from the opening lines of John Weiley’s Imax documentary Solarmax – In keeping with its film score origins, the music of the Prologue is a literal interpretation of this opening narrative. Our earth is seen from space, spinning, vulnerable. Our gaze turns to the sun and we glimpse the unimaginable violence of the suns surface.
2. At the Edge uses fragments of the original Solarmax narration as a departure point from which to develop and explore some of the scientific concepts and ideas enshrined within the film, in particular the sound of the sun singing, a recent discovery by the international solar terrestrial program. The chorus chanting “sun” in numerous dialects forms a bridge to the climax of the movement. I am indebted to John Weiley for his permission to use his narration and to the writers Hannie Rayson and Michael Cathcart for their assistance with the text in this movement.
3. Song of Transience is an excerpt from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. Although the book has its roots in the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, Sogyal Rinpoche has incorporated many diverse writings and teachings as expressions of wisdom. The words of Buddha and Shakespeare, as quoted from the book are sung by a solo male treble as a reminder of the preciousness of life on earth, the qualities of compassion and the transient nature of all living things. I am indebted to Sogyal Rinpoche for his kind permission to use these excerpts from his famous book.
4. Aurora is a short instrumental interlude inspired by the spectacular lights at the earths poles caused by the bombardment of the earth’s magnetosphere by the sun’s electrons.
5. Nasce la gioia mia Is a four part chorale based on Primavera’s ancient text “O Sol, Almo Immortale” and segues directly into the 6th movement, a virtuosic percussion septet.
6. Hymn to the Aten. The Great Hymn to the Aten was found in the tomb of Ay, in the rock tombs at Amarna, Egypt. It is attributed to Pharaoh Akhenaten, and gives us a glimpse of the artistic outpouring of the Amarna period. The hymn suggests that Akhenaten considered Aten (the orb of the sun) as the only god, and creator of the universe. The hymn has been recently translated from the original Egyptian hieroglyphics by numerous scholars into a variety of interpretations. I have derived my own version of the hymn from the numerous translations. Sincere thanks to John Weiley for introducing me to this text.
7. Sidereus Nuncius In March 1610, Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher Galileo Galilei published the first scientific treatise based on observations of the moon and stars made through his recently invented telescope. Although brief, his book contains an infectious excitement of his discoveries, which form the foundation upon which all modern observational astronomy is based. The text is a succinct and liberal translation of the original work and I am indebted to writer Michael Cathcart for his assistance.
8. O Sol Almo Immortale The chorale based on Primavera’s ancient ode to the sun is heard one last time in a dense orchestration that mirrors and expands upon the climax of the prologue. The final bars symbolize a laying to rest.
Resquiescat in pace Eli
Source:http://www.rimshot.com.au/missasolishome.htm
Contributor:Arye Kendi