‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ Matthew 11:28-30.
Tormod Tvete Vik: Bringing a modern harmonic language to classic text
Tormod Tvete Vik is a Norwegian composer. A consummate musician, he started his musical pursuit at the bright age of 6, studying violin, and continuing with music composition, arranging, musicology, pedagogy and conducting. He worked professionally as a violinist in his own quartet and string orchestra before, as he states in his bio, “dedicating his career to creating music instead.” With his extensive, impressive resume and catalogue of works, the world seems to be glad he did… and so are we.
Vik’s “Come Unto Me” was commissioned by Mark Pope for the University of Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Written for SATB and piano, this piece begins acapella, the melody in the soprano. In his text painting in this first section, tasteful dissonances on words like “me” leave you with a certain longing, and “weary” strikes a deep discomfort, quickly releasing the suspension. The piano joins in the second section, flowing through moving eighth note figures. Voices soar melodically above these moving figures, ending with a humbling key change on the word “souls.” The voices and piano then change to a slower, homophonic texture, surprising the listeners again with an F minor chord turning to an E major chord, establishing a new key on the word “light.” The final section ends with a repeat of the beginning text, marrying the new key with a mirroring eighth note pattern in the piano.
If today, you are in need of a meditative moment, a time of peace and a vehicle to take you to a completely present space, please take this recording with you into your centering space. You won’t be disappointed to come on the journey that this sacred text offers, brought to life by Tik’s thoughtful and imaginative music.
You can read and listen to more of his works here at his website.