for 6 choirs (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass), children’s choir (Soprano, Alto), 6 percussion  

The Fall into Light is a syncretic work based on texts from a wide variety of sources, mostly gnostic, hermetic, and mystical, but also including writings by Rilke and Nietzsche, along with some reflections of Schafer’s own. The basic theme is Manichean: the fall of the soul from its heavenly home in the Pleroma, or region of light, to the darkness of the earth and the soul’s subsequent attempt to escape from the archons, or dark lords, who rule there and to pass through the vastness of space back into the Pleroma. Since the earth is surrounded by starry light, the direction of this passage may be up or down, hence the “fall” of the title. In Manichean thinking, the soul is also a drop of light; thus the whole work is a study of light within darkness as well as darkness within light. 

Performed by:
Elmer Iseler Singers
Elora Festival Singers
Pro Coro Canada
Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir
Vancouver Chamber Choir
Canadian Children's Opera Chorus
Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor

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