So this week I want to introduce you to a 21st century choral piece called Northern Lights by Norwegian composer/pianist Ola Gjeilo. It’s incredible.
The text is the Latin Pulchra es amica mea, from Song of Solomon (in the Bible). Here is an English translation:
Thou art beautiful, O my love,
sweet and comely as Jerusalem,
terrible as an army set in array.
Turn away thy eyes from me,
for they have made me flee away.
Northern Lights is about beauty. The text and the music describe something serene and heartbreaking, a “terrible beauty,” according to Gjeilo; one that is captured in the essence of the aurora borealis.
You can read more about Gjeilo’s thoughts about this piece on his website.