requiem for strings and voices (2024)


This is a requiem meant for anyone bearing unresolved feelings of loss. Ambitiously, the aim when I started writing was to help.

I use pieces of the traditional Latin text and structure, while at the same time bend this to reflect a greiving process, and use a series of newer texts in various languages from various times, to help reflect the cloud of ideas around death we all meet. The hope is to set the audience in more direct contact with their feelings. Poets include Rolf Jacobsen, Rainer Maria Rilke, Peter Sacks, and Mary Oliver. Download the text. 

The music uses references from both concrete, amusical sources - breath, heartbeat, death rattle - as well as various periods of music history, and attempts to synthesize or reconcile them, but also merely places them side by side (temporally or as layers), allowing the contast to be jolting. Nature’s death, mediated by culture, occasisonally rebels.

“Rest” is a tranlation to English of the Latin “requiem", which is what a requiem traditionally asks God on behalf of the dead, but also what those grieving need for themselves. In addtion, it can refer to what is left: memories, remains.

Commissioned by Oslo International Church Music Festival, with kind support from The Norwegian Composer’s Fund.


Hear the full piece here (skip to 01:16:45)
Swedish radio here.

Hear an interview (in Norwegian) about the piece, including illustrative excerpts & a review here.

Performed by: The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir & Ensemble Allegria, Grete Pedersen (cond), with soloists: Hanne Marit Mordal Iversen (sop), Maria Angelika Carlsen (vln), Mari Askvik (tape), Øystein Stensheim (ten), Olle Holmgren (bass), & Nikolai Matthews (cb).

Video introduction to the piece (in English):

Gives the feeling of a special event … a work that conquers the room in a quiet yet powerful way. Clear … daring … uncompromising.

Eystein Sandvik, NRK

An artistic victory… I found my requiem… I could lay my own personal grief fully into the work.

Audience member, on social media

Futrell creates a sore, painful world of sound … enormously effective.

Aksel Tollåli, Scenekunst

Masterly … crazy-beautiful … brave and moving … gripping ... gorgeously curated text … deeply touching.

Mash-up of various audience members, on social media


All photos by Anders Lillebo / Oslo Internasjonale Kirkemusikkfestival

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