The unusually dark-hued nature of this work relates to its dedicatee, Willie Pondexter, a young man from Oklahoma convicted of killing an elderly woman during a robbery at her house in Clarksville, Texas, in 1993. Pondexter was on Death Row in Huntsville, Texas, when a few years later MacMillan struck up what became a most unusual friendship. He visited Pondexter and is even now not certain why he initiated the contact. Pondexter was executed in 2009 and MacMillan admits to not having fully got over it. As he says: ‘It was a strange, bewildering and sad episode altogether.’ This is the background to the mood of the Jubilate Deo and is also a reminder of how ‘hands on’ MacMillan can be in his pursuit of causes, principles and faith, and his reaction to, for instance, political repression, and how these things feed into his music.
from notes by Paul Spicer © 2011