This organ work draws inspiration from the triptych of Una Terra Sancta by Egon Altdorf (1922-2008). Altdorf’s woodcuts follow a thematic progression, with the first woodcut depicting the ascension of the winged sun, ushering in a new day. The second engages in ‘conversation with the earth’, with the culmination the third, where humankind is majestically made manifest. This composition unfolds in parallel to the Una Terra Sancta, with sections dedicated to dawn, earth, and the transcendent element of gold.
I thank Jonathan Smith, the Lanfine Organ Scholar at the University of Glasgow, for giving this work the inaugural performance on 30 October 2023, as part of the Choral Contemplations series, an event that coincides with the exhibition of Egon Altdorf’s works in the University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel during the autumn season of 2023. The merging of visual and auditory elements in the premiere endeavours to create a harmonious dialogue between Altdorf’s visual expressions and my attempt at an evocative soundscape.