Dormi, Jesu! was written during a spare 30 minutes in my piano/voice teaching timetable at Clayfield College girl’s school in 2002. I even had to borrow some manuscript to jot down my initial ideas!
I had had the opportunity to work with the school’s chamber choir Canzona and their director, Nevann Hardwick, on several occasions. With their pure vocal tone in mind, I set to writing flowing lines of quavers in triple time with a soprano melody that occasionally provided cross-rhythmic interest. The surprises in harmonic colour add impetus to the the rise and fall of the quavers, capturing the gentle lullaby-like mood of the work.
Performance note: The hum at the beginning can be changed to “oo”, subject to the development of the voices.