A selection of choral works by Ola Gjeilo for SATB choir: composition, interpretation, and recording of the Phoenix Chorale's Northern Lights: Choral Music by Ola Gjeilo
Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) is highly regarded as an accomplished and prolific composer of choral music. His creative output includes works for chorus, solo piano, and wind symphony. His unique style infuses elements of cinematic music, jazz and improvisation, with particularly intriguing selections of text. This study examines the factors that influence Gjeilo's compositional techniques, and the musical interpretations of conductor Charles Bruffy in his preparation for The Phoenix Chorale's recording Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo. The eleven works discussed in this study are: The Ground, Evening Prayer, Ubi caritas, Prelude, Northern Lights, The Spheres, Tota pulchra es, Serenity, Phoenix (Agnus Dei), Unicornis captivatur, and Dark Night of the Soul. As a relatively new and young composer, there is very little published literature on Gjeilo and his works. This study provides an intimate glance into the creative process of the composer. By composing in multiple styles and with a variety of inspirational sources, Gjeilo creates a fresh approach toward composition of new choral music. His style is revealed through interviews and numerous collaborations with conductors and performers who have prepared and performed his music, as well through an examination of the eleven works recorded by The Phoenix Chorale.