Percipience from Navona Records

Professor of Music
Missouri State University

Michael Murray on the Web

PERCIPIENCE Five Blake Songs, Neutral Tones, Four Songs of Solomon, Three Donne Songs

ABRAZO: The Havana Sessions After The Fall

SPELLBOUND Tempest Fantasy

Reviewers have praised composer Michael Murray as "a contemporary craftsman-artist of original stripe" (Gappelgate), and "a master at writing for the human voice" (Music & Vision). His music has been described as "well crafted," "expertly and adroitly handled," and "easy to listen to in the best possible way." Murray's compositions have been performed and recorded across the United States and Europe, featured in venues in Cuba, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, over 20 different states and the District of Columbia. In addition to works for the concert hall, he has written music for film, theater productions, dance, and visual arts installations. His music has been recorded for Navona Records and is published by Ars Nova Press. He lives in Springfield, Missouri, where he teaches composition and music theory at Missouri State University. Murray has won awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs. Incidental music and sound design Murray composed for Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice was featured in the International Prague Quadrennial Scenofest exhibition of theater design. Among his commissions are those from the Missouri Chamber Players and the music fraternities of Missouri State University. He earned a BM in composition from the Catholic University of America and his MM and DMA in composition from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Prior to coming to MSU, he taught at Loyola University New Orleans and Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas.


We (After The Fall, movement 2)

PDF score

After the Fall (poems by Jodi Kanter) was written to commemorate the first anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. Although the piece was created as a response to this specific event and its aftermath, its expression of the universal themes of loss and hope can be understood in a wider context. This recording was made by the Schola Cantorum Coralina (Alina Oracca, conductor) in Havana in November, 2015 and released on ABRAZO: The Havana Sessions on Ansonica Records.

Your Love is Beautiful (Four Songs of Solomon, movement 3)

PDF score

Four Songs of Solomon was composed in 2009 for tenor Andrew Childs. The cycle uses poetry from the biblical Song of Songs with English translations prepared by the composer. The settings express the ecstasy experienced in an intimate physical relationship between two lovers and/or the intimate relationship between God and God's people. The complex and various emotions depicted through both explicit and metaphorical descriptions of sexual intimacy in the poetry are supported by the musical setting. This recording features Andrew Childs and the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Petr Vronsky. Available on PERCIPIENCE

The Self-Unseeing (Neutral Tones, movement 1)

PDF score

Neutral Tones was written in 2013 for Chris Thompson and Kathy Murray. The poems in the cycle span the career of the English writer Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), but all express the common theme of the process of aging. Our perceptions of significant events in our lives take on a different color as we look back on memories of life and love. This recording features Chris Thompson and Peter Sulski. Available on PERCIPIENCE