Ego vobiscum sum (2023)
Double choir SATB
Duration: 9 minutes
Surprisingly, there are few settings of this text, 'Ego vobiscum sum' the Communion
Antiphon for the Feast of the Ascension, the final words of the Gospel of Matthew,
said to have been spoken by Jesus to his disciples before ascending into heaven.
I first set the text liturgically, as a solo for voice and organ in 2020, creating a
version for solo, choir, and organ in 2021, and finally expanding it into this, its final
form, for double choir. As I was building out my setting, I began to realize and understand
that at the core of creation is sound itself and that in this text held sound in a
particularly pure form: vowels, here in succession: 'a' become 'eh' become 'oh' become 'i'
become 'u', cascading back and forth over time and space until the end of creation.
What is death, but silence? What is the pre-creation, but a mute chaos?
Scripture reminds us that eternity resounds, the great casino in the sky is filled with continual
angelic praise. With this in mind, I set out to revel in the possibilities of writing for double
choir and the mantic capabilities of sound, structuring the work such that, tonally, it could
repeat unceasingly in a grand riverrun.
'Ego vobiscum sum' is a part of Gradualia, a collection of a dozen or so works for a variety of
forces setting liturgical texts in Latin, English, and Spanish.
MIDI rendering available on request
Purchase Score at Black Tea Music