The article published in the National Catholic Reporter describes the encounter between the artist and the encyclical, and how it resulted in a piece of music: an oratorio, a dramatic musical genre.
Linda was inspired by theologian Harvey Cox to write her first oratorio called “The City is Burning”. When he showed it to her, Cox suggested she read Laudato Si’ and the artist was impressed: “It was so beautiful,” she admits.
The musical piece is intended to be sung by 16 vocalists accompanied by a small chamber orchestra. Influenced by 20th and 21st century classical, early music, gospel and jazz, it consists of 18 movements, including 10 songs that can be sung by choirs or community groups.
The pandemic disrupted recording plans, but other musicians helped Linda with remote recordings of three of the songs: “Creator Speaks in Languages of Trees,” “Prayer for Our Common Home,” and “The Joy of Our Hope.”
As a result, other artists have also been inspired to create other musical pieces on the subject of Laudato Si’. During Laudato Si’ Week there will also be a space dedicated to this: on May 22, World Biodiversity Day, the festival “Songs for Creation” will be held.
“Prayer for Our Common Home”, composed by Linda Chase. Voice: Nedelka Prescod; piano: Anna Unch Pyon.
Chase is a professor at Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory in Boston. She hopes that her oratorio inspired by Laudato Si’ can be “an invitation to dialogue.”
The artist asserts that “music can open the heart and invite conversation.” While music theory and technique are essential, for a composer, much of the art lies in “just being deeply immersed in the work and listening to where the music wants to go, and allowing it to get there, without forcing it to go somewhere else.”
In addition to her passion for music, Linda has always loved the outdoors. As a child she would go camping with her family in the mountains, and when she grew up she went rock climbing. Today she is part of a group of musicians who call themselves composers of landscape music, whose work is inspired by particular places or species.
“The Joy of Our Hope”, composed by Linda Chase. Piano and vocals: Sarah Brindell.
Lee la entrevista completa con Linda Chase, en inglés, en el National Catholic Reporter.