God of the Moon
for choir and organ
Composition Date: 2009
Instrumentation: SATB and organ
Commissioned by St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, with funding from The Friends of the Music of St Giles’ Cathedral. First performed by St Giles’ Cathedral Choir, directed by Michael Harris, with Peter Backhouse, organ, on Sunday 7th June 2009, at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh.
I have written several works which are either settings of, or inspired by, the Carmina Gadelica – a collection of Celtic hymns and incantations collected and translated in the 19th century by Alexander Carmichael.
I find these songs and blessings profoundly inspiring, in their sense of the presence of God in everyday life.
I have set this poem using flute-like canon in the organ – the sounds of birdsong and water, and simple repeated motifs.
God of the Moon is dedicated to the memory of my father, Tony Beamish, who died just as I was starting work on the piece, and whose birthday would have been the day after its premiere. A Quaker like myself, he believed in man’s humble place in the universe, in respect for creation, and in living simply.
The work was commissioned by St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, with funding from The Friends of the Music of St Giles’ Cathedral, and was first performed by St Giles’ Cathedral Choir, directed by Michael Harris, with Peter Backhouse, organ, on Sunday 7th June, at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh.
The composer wishes to acknowledge the invaluable support of Peter Backhouse in the preparation of the organ part.
Sally Beamish 2009
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