Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars (1995)

For SATB Chorus and Organ   6½ minutes

Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars and Orion
And turneth the shadow of death into the morning. (Amos 5:8)

Alleluia, yea, the darkness shineth as the day, the night is light about me. (Psalm 139)

The theme of light, and star-light in particular, is an endless source of inspiration for composers. I came across these words about light and stars while looking for a text to set as an anthem for the Royal Academy of Arts’ annual Service for Artists: I thought these images would have a special meaning for visual artists. The anthem begins with a musical image of the night sky, a repeated organ motif of twinkling stars that sets the choir wondering who made them. The refrain ‘Seek him’ starts in devotional longing but is eventually released into a joyful dance, finally coming to rest in serenity.

 

Text: Amos 5:8; Psalm 139

Commissioned by the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts

First performance: 24th May 1995, St. James's Piccadilly.