for SATB (+div.)
En Paradiso is a still, yet emotionally-charged work that is written in celebration of the life of my Yaya, Georgia Anasis, upon her passing in 2020. The text is taken from my favorite stanza in the Greek Orthodox memorial service.
As expressed in the text, the main theme of this piece is hope, and an earnest plea for the comfort and rest of the soul of the departed. Because of the source of the text, and its connection to my grandmother’s faith, much of the musical material is inspired and derived from Orthodoxy, whether that be directly from the musical tradition of Byzantine chant, through aesthetic principles in Greek iconography, or, more abstractly, by the teachings, beliefs, and religious practices of the Greek Orthodox Church. As such, there is a certain theology in the way that the musical elements interact with and amplify this specific text, and more broadly, the cultural understanding of death in which the text operates.
Premiere: November 21, 2021—Redlands, CA