Inspired by Nature, Passionate About Poetry
Acclaimed Composer to Visit Tri-Cities Area
By Angela Wampler | November 25, 2008In a telephone interview from his home in California, acclaimed composer Morten Lauridsen chatted with A! Magazine for the Arts about his work.
He had just returned from Portland, Oregon, where his father recently passed away at age 98. Lauridsen said, "My father died holding my hand while listening to 'Lux aeterna' (a composition Lauridsen wrote the year his mother died)."
According to program notes for a performance by the San Francisco Choral Society, Lauridsen's mother was the "muse" who introduced him to music, playing swing jazz and singing to him as a toddler. She also taught him to play the piano. Later he took up the trumpet, favoring jazz and Broadway composers.
In 2001, the Los Angeles Times music critic wrote, "Though a requiem for the composer's mother, it is music as much about life as it is the spirit. Gentle harmonies, in voices and instruments, seem to hover in the air of the concert hall, yet nonetheless make us feel grounded in the earth."
Lauridsen said, "I used 'Lux aeterna' to comfort myself upon hearing the news of my mother's impending death. I turned to my art, as other artists have, to cope with an intense personal situation. To go to my composing studio each day and set to music such reassuring texts was of great comfort to me, and...I receive a great deal of mail from individuals who write and tell me that 'Lux aeterna' has brought them enormous solace in their grief."
— Getting Back to Nature
— Passionate About Poetry & the Human Voice
— About the Composer
— What Others Are Saying
— Other Well-Known Compositions, Recordings by Lauridsen
— Public, Poets, Musicians Invited to Concert, Composer's Lecture & Choral Rehearsal