Lux Aeterna
(SATB + piano)

Published: 2011

Australia has some of the most intense sunlight in the world. I am often nostalgic about the great clarity of daylight in Queensland, where I grew up, enjoying the languorous and overbearing warmth in summer, the smell of bitumen steaming during a summer storm, or the endless clear blue sky on a crisp, sunny winter morning. Lux Aeterna is a kind of ritualistic musical celebration of the intense, abundant Australian sunlight and the Australian summer. The “Lux Aeterna” Gregorian chant and text, with its description of “perpetual light” (luceat eis) in a sense refers to our own translucent and unremitting Australain sunlight. The musical effect is both luminous and harsh, particularly with the use of cluster chords, jazz harmony and bizzare vocal effects, as a kind of musical depiction of shimmering heat on a hot day. Combined with this are the inspiring words of Michael Leunig, which highlight the joy and fun of summertime with its glorious sunlight.

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