Elmer Iseler Singers Perform World Premiere Of Timothy Corlis’ “Om Saha Nāvavatu”


The Elmer Iseler Singers of Toronto and Artistic Director and Conductor Lydia Adams launch their 44th concert series with a breathtaking program of choral music inspired by the reflective journeys of composers and poets in search of heart and soul of beauty. The performance, titled Walk and Touch Peace, takes place at Eglinton St. George United Church on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 4 p.m.

The concert, without intermission, includes Sun on Water by Hussein Janmohamed (Kenya/Canada), Melodia by Myroslav Skoryk (Ukraine) and Long Road by Eriks Ešenvalds (Latvia). The Elmer Iseler Singers then lend their ethereal voices to the music of Timothy Corlis in the world premiere of an exquisite new choral composition that incorporates sound healing instruments from around the world. “Om Saha Nāvavatu is a deep and spiritual work that cannot be categorized. It is a unique, immersive piece that transcends genres and categories. It is a balm for the soul”, notes Lydia Adams.

The music of Timothy Corlis is universal and appeals to an audience that does not necessarily identify with contemporary music, just like the music of the late John Tavener. Om Saha Nāvavatu (may we all be protected and blessed) is a meditative sound journey, a choral journey of 40 minutes. A soothing and soothing soundscape, Om Saha Nāvavatu is an invitation to let go of anger, prejudice and negativity to embrace pluralism and peace, allowing the mind to wander and feel suspended in time. The introspective and transformative work is inspired by Vedic texts and the poetry of Hindu and Buddhist spiritual teachers. “Om Saha Nāvavatu is truly a call for peace and hope in the world,” comments composer Timothy Corlis.

“Music strikes a chord in a place that needs healing,” adds Corlis. “Our world is in turmoil; between a long pandemic and raging wars to the climate crisis and political unrest, our souls are in need of repair. Om Saha Nāvavatu is not a concert piece; it is a musical offering , a restorative experience filled with serenity.”

Described as “a composer of great depth and passion, not to mention an immaculate and refined craftsmanship” (Wholenote), British Columbia composer Timothy Corlis sees music as a powerful force for social change. , an important aspect of community life. The Juno-nominated composer holds degrees in physics, anthropology, social and political thought, and composition. His works have been performed in Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan and more recently at Carnegie Hall in New York and France.

JUNO Award-winning Elmer Iseler Singers, under the direction of Artistic Director Lydia Adams, is one of Canada’s premier choral ensembles. Based in Toronto, the professional chamber choir has built an international reputation for excellence through its concerts, broadcasts and over fifty acclaimed recordings, and has won numerous accolades, including a GRAMMY nomination. The 20-voice ensemble regularly commissions and performs new works, appearing at major festivals and touring nationally. Founded by the late Dr. Elmer Iseler in 1979, the Elmer Iseler Singers frequently offer educational outreach programs with schools, choirs and conductors, and constantly contribute to the development of emerging choral artists in Canada.

This commission and performance of Om Saha Nāvavatu is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

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