Ross writes: This piece is the last in the Mountain Chant trilogy: Oratio Dominica, The Lord’s Prayer, a profound documentation of the universal path to self-transformation and enlightenment. Fred Watson’s poem Mountain Chant, which provides the text of the central chorus, juxtaposes European and Celtic imagery associated with the Warrumbungles with the names of Dreaming sites of the indigenous people for whom the mountains were a continuous divine revelation. Vividly and precipitantly rhythmic, it is framed by two stark, interior motets: the first a setting in Latin of O Quam Preciosa by the 12th century Rhineland mystic, Hildegard von Bingen.
Mountain Chant, composed at a time when Australia seems more than ever in need of spiritual regeneration, was jointly commissioned by two leading Australian choirs: Cantillation & the Melbourne Chorale, each of which received assistance from the Australia Council. It is dedicated to my friend and collaborator, Fred Watson, Astronomer-in-Charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory at Siding Spring in the Warrumbungles, who also provided the text of my choral Fourth Symphony, Star Chant.
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