My recent predilection for liturgical music has given rise to what ought to be my first choral work. It’s not finished, but with it, I have tried to produce a hymn in the style of Romantic-era musical settings of Russian orthodox worship services. I have given myself the rather daunting task of trying to capture the same spiritual flavor of these works, while omitting any religious program (that is, for some definition of “spiritual”). I’ve written the piece for a cappella SATBB chorus, and it’s looking to be about three minutes long.

At the moment, I’m in the process of deciding on a text for the work, which is a process so critical and yet unbounded as to be basically paralyzing. My first experiments in assigning words to the music have involved a French adaptation of a poem For the Fallen by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943).

More on my aspirations for this piece later.