The Embracing Universe is a new oratorio by composer Justin Grounds based on the life and ideas of the French paleontologist and priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Working with a cycle of poems by Fred LaHaye which explore Teilhard’s increasingly relevant ideas of evolution, consciousness and planetary growth, Grounds has spent the last 3 years writing this large scale work, his biggest project to date.
Drawing from the oratorio traditions of the past, the work features choir and soloists, but Grounds has ambitiously departed from the normal orchestration, instead scoring the work for any 7 instruments. In this way, a performance of the work is made increasingly accessible to musical groups, and though the notes stand truly on their own, each performance will have different resonances and timbres.
The world premiere of The Embracing Universe is taking place on 3 August 2019 at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, performed by 7 musicians and The Project Choir, a group of singers who have formed especially for this work.