LIBERA ME & NONCREDO
Libera me means “Free me”…”and I have added…from the limitations of my own humanity”. This is a call to come alive to new possibilities, to die to our old ways and ultimately be renewed by the transcendent power of the Christian faith to a state of trust and love.
Bells and vibraphone (like echoing church bells) set the scene for a mezzo-soprano impassioned prayer for personal liberation (from prejudice, doubt, distrust, despair, narrow vision – anything which reduces our compassion and understanding). Bells have been used in religious rituals for centuries. They called the faithful to prayer, were used to drive off evil spirits, warn citizens of imminent attack, notify the community of weddings, births and deaths. Here they focus the psyche through the ear by targeting one main pitch area, B natural, around which the melodic and harmonic elements are built.
The choral close harmony support has an element of reflective ritual chant in outer sections. Contrasting agitated bursts from soloist and choir follow a flowing musical mirror. This symbolizes the mirror of existence in which we see ourselves reflected only partially for now.
Interleaved with the Libera Me 1 and 2 is the Noncredo 1 and 2.
Hence: Libera me 1, Noncredo 1, Libera Me 2 and Noncredo 2.
The traditional Christian Credo is an expression of faith in the tenets of the religion.
The Noncredo is not a statement of non-faith. Rather, it reveals the consequences of fear and lovelessness, i.e. of our lack of faith. Hence the text : “In our fear and lovelessness, it is clear that we do not believe in God…..and (the result of this fear and lovelessness is that) we have created hell on Earth”.
In the Noncredo, a large choral-orchestral tutti reflects in musical repetiveness and overlays of sameness, the harshness of clashing pitch and percussive abruptness, the rigidity and stuckness, the relentless ferocity of non-caringness, of non-doing, which inflicts as much hurt as deliberately damaging actions and attitudes. An extract from Psalm 19 (“the gods whom Earth holds sacred are all worthless and those that run after them find trouble without end”) leads us to the Crucifixus.