Unseen Voices

2018      double SATB choir, orchestra      duration: 9 minutes

Horn in F, 2 Trumpets in C, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Triangle, Timpani, Strings

Angels in most world religions and mythologies seem to serve one of two functions: wielding controlling power over the physical world or over human affairs; or making spiritual announcements to humans. In giving voice to the unseen voices of angels and other spirits, the choir pronounces the names of Native American and Hebrew spirits representing the power and beauty of nature – wind, moonlight, rainbows – and messages of peace and assurance. Here is our chosen cast of angel/spirit names:

  Gǎoh – chief wind spirit (Iroquois)

  Yaogah – bear spirit of the north wind (Iroquois)

  Neoga – fawn spirit of the south wind (Iroquois)

  Oyandone – moose spirit of the East Wind (Iroquois)

  Amitolane – rainbow spirit (Zuni)

  Nokomis – daughter of the moon (Algonquin)

  Gabriel – archangel of justice, annunciation (Hebrew)

  Maris stellastar of the sea (Latin)

Ave maris stella is an 8th-Cen. Roman plainsong antiphon for Vespers. The text speaks of Gabriel announcing peace to the world.

Gabrielis ore, funda nos in pace. (Latin)  “From the mouth of Gabriel, establish us in peace.”

Epi gis Eireni anthropois. (Greek)  “On earth, peace to all people.”