Missa Supratext

for young women's chorus with handbells and Tibetan bowls, string quartet and optional singing saw

Aleksandra Vrebalov

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for young women’s chorus with handbells and Tibetan bowls, string quartet and optional singing saw

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Composer Aleksandra Vrebalov
Year of Composition 2018
Duration ca.20'
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-av1ms1


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, rather 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 most unusual, actual creature for the first time. 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: 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:

I. Asking

II. Celebration

III. Believing

IV. Holy All

V. Surrendering

VI. Freedom

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

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