Jay Walls, Composer Jay Walls, Composer
The Cloths of Heaven The Cloths of Heaven

I was chatting with a medical doctor recently about the significant challenges for musicians in these times of a pandemic. For example, sound quality in online lessons is subpar, and what is more, it may be a while until we are able to attend live concerts like before or experience the joy of making music in large ensembles. We talked about the thrill of creating music, and I got goosebumps just remembering the exhileration experienced at live performances. At the risk of sounding trite, I would assert that live music is like a tapestry of sound gifted from heaven itself!

I teach Music Appreciation almost every semester, and each time I do, I feel so thankful for the blessing of recorded sound. It's fantastic to be able to instantly play an audio clip or show a video excerpt to the students for almost anything I want them to hear; nonetheless, I always try to remind the students that digital sound, no matter how good, has less emotional impact than sounds heard at a live performance. For me it's always exciting to hear Mozart's Requiem online, but it's just not the same as hearing the Dies Irae from the same work performed live by a choir and orchestra.

My main point is this: music is a gift that we all enjoy; but if there were any way to make something as good as this even better, it would have to be the sublime experience of sharing music live.

Last year I wrote a choral piece based on the following poem by W.B. Yeats:

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

From my vantage point, music is the stuff from which divine fabric is made...and I consider it an honor to weave harmonies and contrapuntal threads together into a tapestry for the ears. As you peruse this website, I cannot regale you with literal cloths of heaven...or any other kind of riches for that matter, but it makes me happy to offer what I have: my music. I hope that you enjoy your time here.