for SATB (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) choir, oboe d’amore, violin, cello, harp, percussion  

In composing Heirmos, Hatzis sought to evoke his experience of visiting Greek orthodox monasteries and hearing the monks and nuns sing their Sunday services. Certain aspects of this experience, such as the cantors’ philosophical approach to time and the way the ambient space affected the timbre of their voices, made him aware of unexplored potential in his own work and prompted him to consider alternative ways of thinking about musical continuity. His reflections on how a listener becomes involved in a musical ritual heightened his awareness of music’s role not just as an aesthetic unfolding in time but also as a catalyst for an individual and social “unfolding.” The twentieth-century American prophet Edgar Cayce claimed that patience is the only means by which to spiritually experience the dimensions of time and space. Hatzis has designed Heirmos to encourage patience as a means of spiritually experiencing music.

Commissioned by Soundstreams with generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.