Quoting a fragment of text from Chapter 14 of James Joyce’s Ulysses
, composer Eoghan Desmond portrays childbirth as a divine mystery. The greeting fanfare of a solo horn in tandem with the choir depicts a mystical incantation by doctors in Dublin’s Holles Street Maternity Hospital—‘Deshil Holles Eamus' ('clockwise we go’), in other words, ‘while we wait for the mother to give birth, we will proceed in a clockwise manner’. The birthing begins with active music on the words ‘send us bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening and wombfruit’. Oxen of the sun
, composed for the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin and horn player Cormac Ó hAodáin in 2017, is a true celebration of the miracle of childbirth.
from notes by Desmond Earley © 2019