amass (Full Score) (download)


A complex and gorgeous new mass setting featuring English translations of mystic poetry from various faith traditions.

SKU: JH-LE02 Category:



Voicing: SATB div. choir, STB soloists, cello solo, cello quartet, guitar, and percussion trio

Level: 5

Duration: 65 minutes

To see a perusal score, please contact Jocelyn.


I.Prologue (cello solo and cello quartet)


II.The Essence of Desire (tenor solo, cello solo, and cello quartet)


III.Kyrie (choir)


IV.Use the Geometry (soprano solo, cello solo, cello quartet, and marimba)


V.Gloria (double choir)


VI.Inventing Truths (tenor solo and cello solo)


VII.Certainty (SAT double choir, soprano solo, cello solo, bells)


VIII. Where All Are Welcome (SATB choir, bells)


IX.So Precious (baritone solo, cello solo, cello quartet, and percussion)


X.Sanctus (choir)


XI.Benedictus (choir)


XII.The Hope (Soprano, tenor, and baritone trio, cello solo, guitar, and marimba)


XIII. In My Soul (baritone solo, cello solo, and guitar)


XIV. Agnus Dei (choir, cello solo, cello quartet, and vibraphone)


XV. Everything (entire ensemble)
(No Recording or Video Available)




What would happen to the world if, despite our cultural differences, we all believed in this: the necessity of love and compassion towards every living thing on earth? What if we all came to the conclusion that, as St. Thomas Aquinas avows, we are all “madly in love with the same God?”


“amass” was commissioned by Dr. Matthew Culloton for The Singers and premiered in 2011 in Minnesota. In 2014 it received its Lincoln Center premiere in New York City, through a generous grant by The Sorel Organization.


The English translations are from Daniel Ladinsky’s book Love Poems from God, and used with permission.


February 11, 2011
taken from personal notes from audience and choir members to the composer


“Stirring music performed by superb musicians.”


“Thank you for making music that has affected me in a way no other music has.”


“Brilliant!  And well executed by remarkable artists.”


“I feel like AMASS was one of the most important pieces I’ve ever worked on.”


“Last night marked the redefining of this generation of music, as well as the gateway into the next.”


“I’ve never been more genuinely thrilled by a live musical experience than I was last night.”


“The whole experience left me quite transformed…your music gave me permission to look beyond the boundaries.”


“It really struck me that all of the texts were presented with your musical voice.  While I was listening, I became aware of how disappointing other efforts at combining or presenting texts from different faith traditions side-by-side.  I haven’t heard every attempt at this, obviously, and I think every composer who tries to do this has really genuine intentions.  However, the pieces I’ve heard display an effort toward authenticity that ultimately takes away from the unifying theme of the texts.  Maybe it helped that yours were all translated by the same person, so you read them in one voice in the first place.  It all sounded like we were hearing what you internalized about all of these texts and what you thought was special about them, and that made it extra special to hear.  However you did it, it was impressive.  Definitely extremely resonated with me, coming from a plural faith background.”



II. The Essence of Desire


I did not
have to ask my heart what it wanted,
because of all the desires I have ever known just one did I cling to,
for it was the essence of
all desire:

to hold beauty in
my soul’s

– St. John of the Cross


III. Kyrie

Kyrie eleison.
Lord, have mercy.
Christe eleison.
Christ, have mercy.
Kyrie eleison.
Lord, have mercy.

IV. Use the geometry


He left His fingerprint on a glass the
earth drinks

Every religion has studied it.
Churches and temples use the geometry of those lines
to establish rites and laws and prayers
and our ideas of the

– Mira


V. Gloria


Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Glory be to God on high,
Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.
And on earth peace, good will towards men.
Laudamus te. Benedicimus te.
We praise thee, we bless thee,
Adoramus te. Glorificamus te.
we worship thee, we glorify thee,
Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.
we give thanks to thee for thy great glory,
Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.
O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe.
O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.
O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram.
Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.
Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy
on us.
Quoniam tu solus Sanctus.
For thou only art holy;
Tu solus Dominus. Tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe.
thou only art the Lord; thou only art most high, Jesus Christ,
Cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris.
with the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father.


VI. Inventing Truths


We invent truths about God to protect ourselves
from the wolf’s cries we hear
and make.

– St. Thomas Aquinas


VII. Certainty


Certainty undermines one’s power, and turns happiness
into a long shot. Certainty confines.

Dears, there is nothing in your life that will not
change – especially all your ideas of God.

Look what the insanity of righteous knowledge can do:
crusade and maim thousands
in wanting to convert that which
is already gold
into gold.

Certainty can become an illness
that creates hate and
God once said to Tuka,

“Even I am ever changing –
I am ever beyond

what I may once put my seal upon,
may no longer be
the greatest

– Tukaram


VIII. Where All Are Welcome


Why this great war between the countries – the countries –
inside of us?

What are all these insane borders we protect?
What are all these different names for the same church of love
we kneel in together? For it is true, together we live; and only
at that shrine where all are welcome will God sing
loud enough to be heard.

– St. Teresa of Avila


IX. So Precious


is a person’s faith in God,
so precious;

never should we harm

He gave birth
to all


– St. Francis of Assisi


X. Sanctus


Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Holy, Holy, Holy,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Lord God of Hosts.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.
Full are heaven and earth of thy glory.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Hosanna in the highest.


XI. Benedictus


Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Blessed is he who comes in the name
of the Lord.


XII.b The Hope

What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.

I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey
to find its source, and how the moon wept
without her lover’s
warm gaze.

We weep when light does not reach our hearts. We wither
like fields if someone close
does not rain their

– Meister Eckhart


XIII. In My Soul

my soul
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church
where I kneel.

Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.

Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is
illumined nothing,

where ecstasy gets poured into itself
and becomes

where the wing is fully alive
but has no mind or

my soul
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque,
a church

that dissolve, that
dissolve in

– Rabia


XIV. Agnus Dei


Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
miserere nobis.
have mercy on us.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
miserere nobis.
have mercy on us.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
dona nobis pacem.
grant us peace.


XV. Everything


Everything I see, hear, touch, feel, taste,
Speak, think,

Is completing a perfect circle
God has drawn.

– Meister Eckhart

If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be
so happy.

– Rumi

Spirituality is love, and love never wars with the minute, the day,
one’s self and others. Love would rather die
than maim a limb,
a wing.

– St. Thomas Aquinas

How can we live in harmony?
First we need to

we are all madly in love
with the same

– St. Thomas Aquinas


All translations by Daniel Ladinsky.
All poetic translations are from the Penguin anthology Love Poems from God, copyright 2002 Daniel Ladinsky and used with his permission.


Composer’s Notes:


The correct usage of the title is all lowercase and in italics: amass.

All pizzicato markings for cello should let vibrate (l.v.).

In the “Gloria” presto section and “Agnus Dei,” the conductor should conduct in 1, but may choose to feel the macro pulse and bar in macro patterns.

For the premiere performance, the bells consisted of handmade oxygen tank bells. I encourage future performers to do the same. The sound of the bells should not be associated with any faith tradition, and therefore non-traditional bells are most suitable.

In “So Precious,” the percussionist playing the large floor tom should bend the pitch upward when an upward arrow is notated. Place elbow in center of drum and push down after striking.

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