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This piece is a setting of the Cherubic Hymn in Old Church Slavonic. The text of the Cherubic Hymn comes from the Orthodox Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, an ancient 5th Century Eucharistic rite. The Cherubic Hymn was unknown to me until Mark Duley (director of Irish chamber choir Resurgam) suggested I might make a setting of it. It had immediate resonance with me. In my music I am always searching for a space where the noise of the mind recedes into the background – a place of concentration and stillness. The Cherubic hymn implores us to “lay aside all cares of this life” so that we may enter into a new state of experience. I find such sentiments very beautiful.

I’ve tried to make a setting that presents each clause/thought as a kind of ‘infinite moment’ – an opportunity to immerse, to focus… Mark Duley talks about the music of the Russian Orthodox tradition as creating “an icon for the ear”. My imagination was captured by this image, and I have tried to do just that with each slowing unfolding sequence, each repetition…

Resurgam commissioned Cherubikon for its 2013 Slava! project. It was premiered by Resurgam and Clermont Chorale in Dundalk, Co. Louth, on 23 May 2013, and subsequently performed by Resurgam and Cór Mhaigh Eo in Newport, Co. Mayo, on 24 May 2013. Mark Duley directed both performances.

Subtitle: A setting of the Cherubic Hymn in Old Church Slavonic
Instrumentation: unaccompanied SATB choir
Duration: circa 7′
Date of composition: 2013
Commissioned by: Resurgam
First Performance: Clermont Chorale with Resurgam; Mark Duley, director; May 23 2013, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland.
Score: Please email to obtain the latest score.