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        Genre: Sacre Australis

        Title Description Composer Voicing

        Ubi Caritas



        “Where charity and love are, God is there.” A commemoration of Jesus Christ for Holy Thursday, for me, the Ubi Caritas has a few significant dimensions; the warmth of Christ’s love, the adoration and mystery of the holy spirit, and the idea of an ‘inclusive, universal’ celebration. Accordingly, my Ubi Caritas reflects this through contrasts in harmonic language, at times chromatic or mysterious, at other times diatonic or pentatonic, reflecting Christ’s love, as well as the influence of modal harmony from Eastern Europe and Africa. Similarly, contrasts in rhythm and texture are incorporated. The calm, sparse music which bookends the work is countered with rhythmic, syncopated music in a kind of ritualistic exultation.

        A Celtic Blessing



        The text, based on a traditional Celtic blessing, reminds us of the companionship of Christ and parallels our life’s journey with his. It is suitable as a doxology in church services, a blessing in Christian weddings, an act of dedication in baptisms and confirmations, a graduation blession or a moment of musical calm within a choral concert. This piece can provide comfort in times of personal stress and reassurance of the chosen journey through life. It ends with a beautiful and expressive setting of Amen, providing a moment of quietly confident affirmation.

        In Paradisum



        Three Eucharistic Motets



        These three motets are settings of hymn texts by the influential theologian and writer, Thomas Aquinas. O Salutaris Hostia (O Saving Victim), Panis Angelicus (Bread Of Angels), and Tantum Ergo (Hence So Great A Sacrament) each pertain to the Eucharist – a central aspect of Christianity. The chant melodies of these texts are layered with other material (both derived from the tune, and freely written) in a similar fashion between each piece to create linked, but unique modern textures. Each uses predominately the same pitches, but with different use of modality originating from each chant theme producing different colours in the sound world.

        This set is a part of the Sacre Australis series.

        Listen below for recordings of Three Eucharistic Motets by Joshua Adams

        O Salutaris Hostia:

        Panis Angelicus:

        Tantum Ergo:

        Arise my love, my fair one



        “Arise my love, my fair one” was written in 2012 for the service at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane commemorating the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Anglican Church of Australia. Flowing lines rise gradually towards the “fragrance” to which the text refers later, the blooming and blossoming of spring and the heralding of a new dawn, for the ministry of women and men. The middle section exhorts in dramatic homophony which gradually calms to release “fragrance”, and then repeats the ideas of the opening. The piece dies away, as if lover and beloved were disappearing into a mist (or a cloud of incense!).


        Listen to a recording here!

        Mater Dolorosa



        The original SATB version of Mater Dolorosa was composed for conductor Jillian McGregor and the Corinthian Singers of Adelaide for a Good Friday concert in the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Radford Auditorium in April, 2011. The work was subsequently revised and expanded (SSATBarB) in 2013, and was premiered by Adelaide Chamber Singers – conducted by Carl Crossin – at the Musica Sacra a Roma in Rome, Italy in July 2013. Mater Dolorosa is a setting of the first four stanzas of the 13th century Marian hymn Stabat Mater Dolorosa, a much longer poem which expresses Mary’s sorrow as she stood at the foot of the cross witnessing her son’s death by crucifixion.