Mike McFerron is professor of music and composer-in-residence at Lewis University and he is founder and co-director of Electronic Music Midwest (http://www.emmfestival.org). McFerron’s music has received critical acclaim and recognition. His music has been performed by the Remarkable Theater Brigade (Carnegie Hall), the Louisville Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Cantus among many others.
He serves on the board of the directors for the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra and is a past Chair of the Executive Committee for the Society of Composers, Inc. McFerron’s music can be heard on numerous commercial recordings as well as on his website at http://www.bigcomposer.com.
Journey to Sekhet-Aanru grew out of a collaborative effort between Cantus and me. This work was written for Cantus' Myth, Magic, and Legend concert series (2003). It creates a dramatic environment where audience members witness an ancient Egyptian burial ceremony. They travel with Anubis--a canine-headed god who guides the dead through the underworld on the journey to Sekhet-Aanru (The ancient Egyptian semi-equivalent place to our heaven). While in the underworld, the dead face trials and tests. This composition is set from the perspective of Egyptian priests who administer spells during the ritual. This composition contains four rituals.
Throughout the work, Anubis periodically uses the priests as a vessel to make his presence perceived. At times, Anubis appears in one priest, and at other times in many. The "Anubis Theme" is heard throughout--it is this theme that binds the four movements together.
Hommage to thee, O thou glorious being,
The endowed Tem Herushuti,
You rise in the horizon of heaven And from the mouths of all people comes a joyful cry.
Beautiful one, Becoming young in the palm of the hand,
Of the mother, Hathor, Rising therefore in the place,
Of every expanded heart for ever and ever.
May he be victorious in the underworld.
The sektet boat comes closer, It arrives...
II. The Key to the 15th Gate of the Underworld
The terrible souls who judge,
Who emerge at night, Who shackle the demon in his lair,
May they be given two hands of the still heart
And make them come forth,
For they judge the sins of the dead.
III. Spell to Keep Your Heart from Being Stolen
My heart is with me, and it will not be taken away.
I am the lord of the hearts that commands the heart,
Because I am moral, I exist in the heart.
My heart will not be taken away from me,
Let it not be harmed, I will not be harmed.
Homage to thee, my heart! Homage to thee, its soul.
Homage to the, gods who rule The divine clouds.
IV. The Arrival
In Sekhet-Aanru, Let me have power,
Let me be strong, So that I can plough there.
Let me harvest, And let me eat and drink there,
As it is done on earth, Yet in the protection of Anubis.
I have come to thee, My lord RA, In Sekhet-Aanru
Translation and transliteration (found in score) adapted by the composer primarily from the 1888 edition of The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of ANI by E.A. Wallis Budge. Music, translation and Transliteration ?2003 by Red Earth Publishing. All Rights Reserved.