MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Songs of Ascent


Last night’s LA Master Chorale program presented the world premieres of two pieces: Nackkum Paik’s Succession and the latest from composer-in-residence Shawn Kirchner. Here’s the essay I wrote for the program:

Images related to rising up have inspired wonder and awe ever since humans acquired consciousness. Such images are ubiquitous in the natural world around us — whether in the mountains that loom majestically over a landscape or the reliable motions of the firmament. Is it any surprise that themes of ascension are so integral to religions all around the world? “When the Buddha sat under the bo tree,” observes Joseph Campbell, “he faced east — the direction of the rising sun.”

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Filed under: choral music, essay, new music


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