I suppose as artists we are always searching for metaphors that speak directly to the musics we perform to guide us and inspire. The music on this CD pushes our boundaries of what could be considered "normal" music making and instead moves us into sound worlds that expand what a choral ensemble can produce.
This recording, which documents an almost three-year exploration into improvisation in various forms, contains works for choral ensembles that create new sound worlds in and of themselves. We are happy to present to the world a young composer from our midst, Sam Scheibe. His virtuous setting of O magnum mysterium introduces a gifted and deeply insightful compositional voice. Sanctitude is an expansive improvisation combining choir, soprano saxophone, Gregorian chant, Arabic chant, and melodies into a sound world that I hope will document the frontier of a new world of choral performance. The techniques employed in this improvisation are documented in the new text Discovering Choral Improvisation through Chant (GIA, 2020).
The CD opens with a three-movement work, The Dreams That Remain by Thomas LaVoy, yet another composer from the Williamson Voices family who has adapted the sound world of this ensemble into a work of beauty and honesty. All of the works on this CD create Auroras of their own that touch us deeply and cover our senses with streamers of light. I thank my friend, James Whitbourn, for conducting on three of the tracks and for crafting the Sanctitude improvisation. Hopefully the sounds on this CD will, as Makoto Fujimara says, "bring you outside of yourself, and pull you to look at the [life's] horizon and to see beyond." — James Jordan