Commissioned for its 15th anniversay by the Esoterics Chamber Choir as the 2008 International POLYPHONOS prize.
Text by Henry Vaughan (1621-1695)
I Saw Eternity is the title track on the Elora Festival Singers CD, I Saw Eternity, nominated for a 2013 JUNO Award in the category: Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance.
19 April 2008, Seattle, Washington, USA
Esoterics Chamber Choir; Eric Banks, director
I saw eternity explores (in five brief minutes, prescribed by the commission) the idea of eternity, and of time as it’s shadow. Time is "felt", has pulse, emotion, but is ultimately a shadow and a brief existential moment hurled out of eternity; eternity is a rich, ringing
reality without pulse or place. The music involves pitch clusters, and overtones in spots – those sounds that are technically not part of the plodding matter of music notation, but exist above the actual named pitches. To an extent, overtones are like an eternal presence of which we merely hear glimpses in this shadow-world where time is measured in hours, days, and years.
-- Leonard Enns
I saw Eternity the other night
Likea great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm as it was bright;
And round beneath it,
Time, in hours, days, years,
Driven by the spheres,
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world
And all her train were hurled.
-- Henry Vaughan (1621-1695), from the beginning of “The World”