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Recording played by the composer

by John Lidfors

choral peace in a global storm

Written during the coronavirus pandemic, this choral composition by John Lidfors offers hope to a world that seeks to recover and find an answer to its turmoil.

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Composer's notes

My choral composition “Jesus and the Storm” communicates with us on two different levels. First of all it relays the well-known Bible passage of Jesus in the boat with his disciples (Mark 4:35-41). A perilous storm rages while he is asleep until his disciples wake him in mortal fear, at which point he commands the storm and all becomes still.

Being a performer myself I sought to use the imagery to vividly capture the action in a musical mini-drama that engages the singer and conductor just as much as the listener. At various points the choir pivots between the role of the narrator, the dramatic impersonations of the story’s protagonists, musical illustrations of the action unfolding and the contemplative voice of the observer. In this way the musical flow somewhat resembles the dramatic interchanges between the evangelist and the chorus found in Bach’s passions.

On another level “Jesus and the Storm” speaks directly to us in the world-wide situation we have faced as I began composing it five months into the coronavirus pandemic. What is the appropriate response to a situation that looks too big to handle? Whether the storm is one affecting all of humanity at the same time or an individual personally this musical piece is as much about the spiritual peace that is available in the midst of storms. Whether the storm and the circumstances surrounding it obey and subside all hinges on the central question that the gospel-writer Mark leaves us with at the end of this passage: “Who is this man who speaks to the wind and the sea and they obey him?”

Watch John's introduction

"Jesus and the Storm relates to the present times that we are in... There is a lot for us to learn from the very different responses of Jesus and the disciples to the storm."

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Score details:

Scoring: SSAATTBB chorus, a cappella
Text: Gospel of Mark 4:35-41
Duration: 7 minutes
Size: A4 / 8 pages
Date of composition: August-September 2020


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