Be Still, My Heart

Be Still, My Heart
SATB A Cappella
2 min duration
Rabindranath Tagore text

Pavane Publishing 2023 [to be released yet]

“Be still, my heart, these great trees are prayers”

Commissioned by Dr. Mark Ramsay for the Exultate Chamber Singers, and the Western University Choirs

“Be Still, My Heart” is a work for mixed chorus. A few measures long, it is enough to temporarily transport, and uplift us away to a place of warmth and comfort. The music came to me one morning, as I began my writing day for what I thought was going to be a canonic piece for treble voices. I began to improvise on what is the opening phrase; it’s as if the music harnessed my conflicting emotions of hope, longing, despair, worry and grief. I came back to this opening phrase throughout the day, and for a few days straight, sculpting away like statue taking shape from stone. The music was my own personal hymn for peace and stability during the oncoming second wave of COVID-19. The poetry came second, a short fleeing thought by Rabindranath Tagore that looking back now, fit perfectly on many levels. Looking out my window in rural Ontario, I see pastures, forests, and streams. I find moments of calmness and stability while surrounded by nature as if its purpose is to comfort, to inspire; to cleanse.

Composer playing the song on piano
Concreamus Chamber Choir – Kai Leung
39:54 to hear the piece