The reputation of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu in the community is that it is a storehouse of “old” music — works by Renaissance composers, Johann Sebastian Bach, and the like. But it is also a place where much new music is brought to light, pieces which have been written in our time. For example, the Alleluia verse which was sung at Carl Crosier’s final service on August 21st, was written only the day before, on August 20th!
Last night, Miguel Felipe brought a new piece to the rehearsal by composer Forrest Pierce. His is a name which is new to everyone at LCH, and you can check out his website here. He teaches at the University of Kansas and graduated from the University of Puget Sound, the University of Minnesota and Indiana University. Here’s a description of his compositional style: “Forrest Pierce composes genre-defying music steeped in Sufi mysticism and contemporary virtuosity. Sincere, often triadic, and blatantly tuneful, it draws on both non-western and rock-era traditions to depict an authentic world of sacred unity and natural beauty.”
Miguel would like the choir to sing one of his recent choral works, written only this year (2011), for his installation next Sunday, September 18. (“In the Lutheran Church, an installation is when one gets nailed to the walls of the church,” he joked.)
The choir will sing Pierce’s motet on “Canticle to the Sun” in addition to the music that was already planned for next week. The work is immediately appealing because of its driving rhythms and interesting harmonies. Our choir was somewhat challenged by the tricky rhythms, but I bet that the congregation will love it!