On May 20th and 21st, 2017, Chorus Austin performed the world premiere of "Da pacem, Domine" at their annual Southwest Voices concerts. The response to the piece has been overwhelming, to say the least. I am incredibly grateful for the sensitivity and artistry of the Chorus Austin Chamber Ensemble and Artistic Director Ryan Heller in bringing this piece to life.
Program notes: I composed “Da pacem, Domine” in July 2016 in the aftermath of the massacre that occurred 12 June 2016 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Fifty human beings died and another 53 were injured, many critically, in the shooting. This attack has been identified as the deadliest assault on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) people in the history of the United States. As an individual who identifies as bisexual, this hate crime had a profound impact on me personally. As I mourned the devastating loss of so many in my LGBT family, I found an intense comfort in listening to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s setting of Da pacem, Domine and was moved to create my own setting of this powerful text in memoriam of the Pulse victims. The protracted rests in the piece are meant to be moments of silence for the victims of this horrendous tragedy. May the souls of the departed rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them.