september 2007, Kessel-Lo

In september, Inge Feyen asked me to write a short piece for a radio mass she would conduct. Since I am not really into religion but always like to write something for Inge, this was quite a challenge. I did not want to write religious music as such, but of course the music should somehow fit in with the concept of a Christian mass.

I decided to stay as neutral as I could by combining the Gregorian chant of the day (for the communion) with a poem by lord Byron that tells about the ending of the world. This Gregorian chant is about the servant who will be rewarded for staying vigilant until his Lord will return. The poem 'Darkness' is about absolute destruction, leaving nothing and ending in a complete void. For me personally, it means that there is nothing worth waiting for. But the setting is open to interpretation so that a religious person who listens to it could come to other conclusions.

As such, the women's choir which is singing short phrases based and the Gregorian chant in their own tempi and harmonic structures. The male choir sings phrases from the poem by Byron in a very slow but continuous movement, together with the organ. The soloist takes the larger part of the text, and its melody involves a lot of quartertones and fragmented rhythms (I wanted to give the impression of a stutterer).

I am quite satisfied with this live recording. Inge Feyen is, of course, conducting. Stijn Hanssens plays the organ and friends from the Capella di Voce and Markant are singing in the choir. The solo is sung by myself.