Pacific Northwest native Morten Lauridsen has brought me so much solace during these turbulent times. His compositions exalt the range of the human voice. They are often reminiscent of Gregorian and Renaissance music, yet with an unmistakably modern quality.
His pieces, such as O Magnum Mysterium and Lux Aeterna (the whole cycle, which he composed in response to his mother’s final illness, especially O Nata Lux), make an emotional offering of voices raised together. They hold a space that is at once the sacred and joy of life, yet with a dissonance and tension that reminds us of the pain and death that surrounds us, which is especially present during this pandemic.
As I listen, I remember those we have lost, and the heavy toll these times have taken on families, children, and in every sphere imaginable. In his music I hear a reminder not to take a single moment for granted, for we have a short and precious time. I love listening to Lauridsen when I need a deep cleansing breath.
His music is a prayer for our times – truly this great mystery.