This is a set of three carols for SATB, suitable for amateur choirs. It is published by Oxford University Press. The full set is available, as of May 3, 2022. The last carol, “The Unexpected Early Hour” will be included in Carols for Choirs 6, which will be available in spring 2023 from OUP.
I. We Look for You (Evensong – Raag Hamsadhwani)
II. The Year’s Midnight (Matins – Raag Malkauns)
III. The Unexpected Early Hour (Lauds – Raag Ahir Bhairav)
This set of three carols, on new texts by poet Rebecca Gayle Howell, traces a journey through the solstice, the longest night of the year. The texts follow the canonical hours of Evensong, Matins and Lauds, and the music maps onto Hindustani raags for those same hours (Raag Hamsadhwani, Malkauns and Ahir Bhairav). This set is a meeting of cultures, and of the many ways we honor the darkness, and celebrate the return of light.
For a deep dive into this work, please read poet Rebecca Gayle Howell’s post on the Oxford University Press Blog.
The Unexpected Early Hour was recorded by the BBC Singers and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on December 24, 2021. The first live performance of The Unexpected Early Hour was by the Los Angeles Master Chorale on December 8, 2021.