When The Tablet asked me to write a motet to be performed at their 175th birthday mass (on 16th May, 2015, at Westminster Cathedral, London), they specified two particular lines from the bible’s Book of Proverbs: ‘Keep my commandments and live, keep my teachings as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart.’

Looking further at the surrounding verses, I was very moved by the warm and nurturing context in which these words were set, and incorporated more of them. The action of ‘binding’ them around fingers inspired me to create a winding and intertwining texture within the choir – each part singing an ancient Middle Eastern-sounding scale, wrapping the refrain in a blanket of gently flowing harmonies.

I am so grateful to the Tablet for the commission and the inspiring words to set.