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WHO WE ARE > COMMISSIONS > Jocelyn Morlock

Exaudi

SSSATBarB & Cello

2004

Jocelyn Morlock, composer

1969 - 2023

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NOTES

Exaudi explores a spectrum of emotional reactions to the words “exaudi orationem meam ad te omnis caro veniet.” As the music progresses, the cooler, ritualized aspects of the music are transformed into awe and terror, which gradually recede into something more calm. During the conclusion of the piece, which works like an extended coda, the cello solo becomes the main focus of the music.  It is echoed and amplified by the sopranos, while the other voices have very simple chorale-like parts.

 

Exaudi was written for a concert about memory, mourning, and loss. My grandmother died in the year prior to me writing it...Exaudi  is loosely based on her emotional and spiritual life as I saw it from a distance, in addition to being written out of love for her.

 

She lost her husband at a young age, and this relates to the meaning of the first half of the text, "Exaudi orationem meam"  which means "hear my prayer (or "hear me"), all flesh will come to you."

 

At the beginning of the piece, this text is set as ritualized repetition of words from the requiem mass, but during the course of the first section of the piece these words become very specific, meaningful, and painful, describing my grandmother's overwhelming sense of loss following the sudden death of her husband. 

 

My grandmother lived to be almost 90. As she got older, the horror of death in general, and the painful nature of her grief, changed and faded. When she was much older, the idea of death became a more gentle thought to her, comforting, and possibly something to look forward to. She talked about perhaps being reunited with her husband after she died. (This is the second section, the In Paradisum section of the piece. That sense of comfort.) She used to joke about him seeing her and wondering who this old woman could possibly be… (JM)

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When we were preparing for the premiere of ‘Exaudi’ at the Chan Centre, I remember Steven Isserlis telling me that he thought the piece sounded “very Canadian.” He wasn’t passing judgement about that sound; he was noting an elusive essence that he heard in the music. In the years that have passed since the premiere, I’ve told so many colleagues around the world about Jocelyn’s extraordinary composition. I think it’s a masterpiece, and one of the most moving pieces of music that our country has produced.

David Pay

Ensemble Manager 1998-2005

Jocelyn and her great works have long been present in many important moments in my life. Her music, her connection to people I love, and her quiet, listening presence at concerts are how I will remember her. I wish I had known her more, and I mourn the music we will never hear, the loss felt by our community, and most of all the deep loss felt by those who knew her well enough to remember not only her profoundness, but her joyful and quirky sense of humour. Jocelyn...aeternam habeas requiem.

Joanna Dundas

Artistic Manager 2012 - 2017

Ensemble Member 1999-2009

Jocelyn felt like a friend of mine, I think because like so many, I felt connected to her through her music. I was first introduced to Jocelyn when musica intima sang ‘Exaudi’ the first time in 2004, and I was amazed at the brilliance of the piece and this wonderful, interesting and generous person. Her music has moved me ever since, and I am sad when I think of the music we will never hear. Along with so many in the music community in the lower mainland and across Canada, I grieve the loss of a profound musical voice, a dedicated and caring teacher, and a beautiful sensitive soul.

Siri Olesen

Artistic Manager 2017 - 2020

Ensemble Member 1997-2017

Jocelyn Morlock had many friends, and I am indeed lucky to number among them. Jocelyn’s piece, ‘Exaudi,’ which appears on tonight’s program is a masterpiece. It reveals the depth and breadth of her musical talent and of her emotional sensitivity. I had the good fortune to be the recording producer, many years ago, for the musica intima CD on which this work appears. Don Harder, the recording engineer for that disc, describes the piece as perfect, and I whole- heartedly agree. We will all miss her.

Liz Hamel

Producer: clear, invocation, into light

Ensemble Member 2008-2011

‘Exaudi’ is a piece that has had time to settle in our consciousness for 19 years and become a cornerstone of musica intima’s repertoire. It is a piece that the ensemble and Jonathan Lo can perform without a conductor, as the chamber music it was intended to be. It’s a piece that is no longer an abstract reflection on someone else’s grief, but a “very specific, meaningful, and painful” expression of our own grief at the sudden loss of Jocelyn. She was family, and we were so proud of her and of this piece. There was a lot of excitement about getting a big name like Steven Isserlis to debut this, but we felt that this piece, and “our” Jocelyn Morlock were at least as musically important and valuable.

Troy Topnik

Board of Directors

Ensemble Member 2001-2005

It was David Pay who spearheaded the commission. I didn’t know Jocelyn at the time, but saw her at a couple of our rehearsals. I recall a cool, quirky, smiling person who wasn’t afraid of asking for specific nuances. She also seemed to inherently trust us as musicians, which boosted our confidence. With Isserlis, she held her own in a pragmatic and respectful (and sometimes humorous) way. The piece itself is such an exploration of emotions. We all knew as we were learning and performing it that we were privileged to be premiering this masterpiece.

Marianne De Kleer

Ensemble Member 1992-2008

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