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O Nata Lux
SATB Chorus, divisi 


$3.00 per score

About the Work

Premiered on Sunday, May 21st by Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble at St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle. Loren Pontén, conductor. It was nominated as a 2018 Finalist for the American Prize in Choral Composition.`

Program Notes
When composing O Nata Lux, I evoked the unwavering quality of the light of Christ by expressing musically the colors I associated with the text. I perceive these colors because I have synesthesia—the connection between different senses, particularly hearing and sight. The work’s central image is the glow of Christ’s light expressed as the sun gleaming through trees. The altos open the work singing the word ‘Lux” on a sustained G, which to me has a soft, brownish-gold light. Other voices join with descending stepwise motives, representing light slowly flickering through the trees. At the work’s climax, on the text ‘Jesu redemptor saeculi,’ or ‘Jesus, redeemer of the world,’ I expressed the bright colors of that text through the melodic line in the sopranos and tenors, which features a high G-sharp—a shimmering gold light—immediately resolving upward to an A. The melodic line settles on an E Major chord on ‘saeculi,’ which emits a bright orange-red light. The flickering light of the opening returns in various voices, coalescing on a D Major chord on ‘lumine,’ ending the work with a soft yellow glow.


O nata lux de lumine, 

Jesu redemptor saeculi, 

dignare clemens supplicum 

laudes preces que sumere. 

Qui carne quondam contegi 

dignatus es properditis, 

Nos membra confer effici, 

tui beati corporis. 


O born light of light, 

Jesus, redeemer of the world, 

mercifully deem worthy and accept 

the praises and prayers of your supplicants. 

Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh 

for the sake of the lost ones, 

grant us to be made members 

of your holy body.

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