Jocelyn said that her music was inspired by birds, insomnia, nature, fear, other people’s music and art, nocturnal wandering thoughts, lucid dreaming, death, and the liminal times and experiences before and after death.
I think of Jocelyn’s 2004 work Exaudi as a masterpiece.
Exaudi was written for the vocal ensemble musica intima and cellist Steven Isserlis. Jocelyn said that the piece was written out of love for her then-recently deceased grandmother whose husband had died at an early age: “As the music progresses, the cooler, ritualized aspects of the music are transformed into awe and terror, which gradually recede into something more calm.”
Listening to “Exaudi” today, I hear that love, that awe, and an eventual, cathartic calm.
“Exaudi” ends with the choir singing poetry about entering into paradise. The words are what I, and all her friends, wish for Jocelyn:
May the angels lead you into paradise…
May the chorus of angels receive you…
may you have eternal rest.
An event paying tribute to the life and music of Jocelyn Morlock took place on May 24, 2023 at the Vancouver Playhouse. For more information, click here.