MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Illumining Through Sound: Tribute to Morten Lauridsen

Morten Lauridsen

Morten Lauridsen

Over the weekend the Los Angeles Master Chorale performed program devoted entirely to the music of Morten Lauridsen. Here’s my essay for the program:

Well before he took up his composer residency with the Master Chorale in 1995, Morten Lauridsen’s artistic odyssey had already begun to intersect with the ensemble’s own unfolding history. He was only a year into college when he experienced an epiphany that made him realize his calling was a life dedicated to music. Spending the summer as a firefighter for the Forest Service in his native state of Washington, the young man was posted to an isolated tower in the wilds of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, south of Mount St. Helens. Lauridsen found himself completely on his own for a ten-week stretch. But his perspective from that lonely lookout tower revealed “beauty beyond description – to be above the clouds with these magnificent snowy peaks,” as Lauridsen puts it in Shining Night, the award-winning recent documentary portrait filmed by Michael Stillwater.

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Filed under: American music, choral music

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