The title track from the debut album by the 2015 Llangollen 'Choir of the World', Maynooth Chamber Choir. Lorica was conducted by Michael Dawson, and recorded, edited and mixed by Brian Masterson. The album cover is by Alan Dunne.
The term ‘Lorica’ describes both a physical piece of armour and a prayer recited for protection. The prayer known as St Patrick’s Breastplate is a wonderful example. It lists numerous evils that might befall the vulnerable, while at the same time displaying the conviction that those who invoke the protection of Christ are impervious to harm. The concept of the Lorica, then, seems to unite vulnerability and invincibility together, as though they were each one of two separate hands joined in prayer.
The Maynooth University Chamber Choir commissioned me to write a work based on this text. Lorica, recites the phrase ‘Christ to shield me’ while outer voices interject with the various dangers and perils outlined in the text.
From the start, however, this piece is a celebration of one’s sense of invincibility through faith. As the piece progresses, the intervallic distance in the main motif closes, as though weaknesses in the armour are being shored up by the very act of reciting the prayer’s words.
Below is another piece from that same album by composer Ko Matsushita.