Tomorrow evening in Espoo, Helsinki's western suburb, the Olaus Petri church choir, under Peter Peitsalo, premieres my new Swedish psalm setting Du kröner året (You crown the year) in a bilingual Michaelmas Mass at our fair city's contemporary church music festival. (Link in Finnish only.) I'm looking forward to this in the extreme. The piece turned out completely diatonic, white notes only, veering between atmospheric clusters and functional triadic harmony. It's quite a departure from my earlier choral pieces, aesthetically, rhetorically, and texturally. The text, from Psalm 65, is a thanksgiving prayer, and I wanted to imbue the piece with a feeling of fullness, bounty and ease, a mood I think I managed to capture. I hope it will provide an appropriate, memorable interlude in the celebration, all the while allowing the liturgy to flow around it without drawing too much attention to itself.
Later that evening, I'll be appearing as a guest on BBC Radio 3's The Choir. Host Aled Jones and I discussed my move to Finland, my other move toward a form of postminimalism, Cyrillus Kreek and other hot topics in the choral world. They'll also be featuring a number of tracks from HOL's new CD. Tune in and listen as my motor-mouth does its best to keep up