into the deep peace

by Markku Klami

Empty sheet

Markku Klami

into the deep peace


into the deep peace is based on selections of texts from John Muir's 1869 travel memoir My First Summer in the Sierra, published in 1911. into the deep peace was commissioned by Audite Chamber Choir for their 30th anniversary, and is dedicated to them and their conductor, Jani Sivén.

The commissioner's wish was that the music would focus on a nature-related theme. This was a pleasant starting point for me, as nature in particular has for long played an ever-increasing role as a source of ideas for me. Almost immediately I decided to set the music to texts inspired by the diverse nature of the State of California. It didn't take me long to think of writings by John Muir. While reading his travel memoir My First Summer in the Sierra, a series of fond memories of my honeymoon trip to California and Nevada in October 2018 came to my mind.

In the midst of ever-increasing rush and disruptions of the way of life in the Western culture, my wife and I managed to completely detach ourselves from the exhausting everyday life and enjoy each other's company in the vivid pulse of the big cities and intoxicating peace of the nature. The vastness and endlessness of the Pacific Ocean, the wilderness of the sun-burned deserts, the canyon scenery and the mountains of the Sierra Nevada impressed me forever.

My perhaps clichéd experience of feeling very small affected me strongly in the Giant forest of the Sequoia National Park, near to the southern end of Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. This rather small area of around 1880 acres is the home to five of the world's ten largest trees. The famous inhabitants of the forest, the Giant sequoias, are among the oldest surviving trees on earth. While wandering around the Giant forest and standing at the foot of these trees, which reach up to the heights of a 14-story building, time disappeared.

I felt as if these old giants were peacefully watching us in their sanctuary almost two kilometers above the sea level. The experience was tremendous, and absolutely sacred. These giants have survived many ordeals during their lives spanning over 3000 years, and they may well continue to live for another 1000 years, if we people allow them to do so.

into the deep peace is my humble tribute to the nature, its endless diversity and beauty – a terrestrial eternity, as John Muir so aptly writes in his travel memoir.

The title of the work is derived from a sentence in Muir's travel memoir, dated July 11, 1869: ”Sauntered up the meadow about sundown, out of sight of camp and sheep and all human mark, into the deep peace of the solemn old woods, everything glowing with Heaven’s unquenchable enthusiasm.”

– Markku Klami, December 2021




Vocal and Choral Works




John Muir


Audite Chamber Choir, cond. Jani Sivén, Audite Chamber Choir's 30th anniversary concert tour, Old Academy Building, Turku, Finland, November 12, 2022.

Commisioned by / dedications

Commissioned by Audite Chamber Choir for their 30th anniversary season 2022-2023. Dedicated to Audite Chamber Choir and their conductor Jani Sivén.

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