Program Note

Missa Supratext is a mass beyond language and anthropocentrism, and is unrelated to any religion.  The text is made up, with no meaning; it is rather a vehicle for voice, that is a vehicle of soul, to express emotion beyond verbal narratives.  The idea for the piece -- to celebrate the interconnectedness of all life, and beyond it, of all life and all matter -- came up in my conversations with David Harrington several years ago.  At that time Kronos was recording A Song for The Sea Pig, so I had seen the amazing actual creature for the first time.  How come it hasn’t made it into a Mass yet?  That coincided roughly with the time of the Quartet’s travels to Quito, Ecuador, inspiring more thoughts about our planet with its strange life forms, predictable and beautiful laws that govern our existence, the reliability of rhythms of natural phenomena and of life amidst its chaotic profusion.  That awe inspiring creative force, the un-nameable consciousness driving all life does not care for culture, language, and religion. This kind of a Mass certainly has its patriarchs and matriarchs: besides sea pigs, roses, all of Kronos, the equator line, every bell ever made anywhere – and Allen Ginsberg.  The language as we know it is used only in one place in Missa Supratext, in Holy All, referencing Ginsberg’s Footnote to Howl

Missa Supratext has six connected sections:




IV.Holy All 



Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul! (A. Ginsberg)