It is also the motto for St. Helens in Merseyside which pays homage to the rapid growth of thetown during the Industrial Revolution.
This motto was a large influence on Danny Boyle's opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Ex Terra Lucem is composed for, and dedicated to Jay Hall and the St. Helen's Youth Town Band - following his appointment as musical director of the band in July 2016.
The main musical materiel of the work is derived from 0 graph on the currenf fogqde of St.Helen‘s Town Hall, By overlaying a musical sfoff onto an image of ihe building, the contours peaks and troughs provide of series of nofes, or a tone row, as shown in the diagram below.
I: THE BRIGANTES
The Brigantes were a Celtic tribe who settled in an area covering much of the north of England across the counties that would ultimately form Loncashire and Yorkshire. Where St. Helens currently sits is within this areal and the tribe were settled in this region until the 1st. century AD Roman Conquest, when nearby Wigon was selected as a place for o new Roman settlement and the Brigontes became subjugatecl. Throughout this movement there is a strong feel of the traditional ‘Celtic‘ musical elements, with an almost donceelike tee! to much of the rhythmic work, and light- footed solo playing,
II: ST ELYNS CHAPEL
The name of St Helens dates back to i552, with the first documentation of a chapel ot ease dedicated to St Elyn in Hardshaw (near the site ot the current pedestrianised Church Street). The Chapel was said to be the crux of the tour townships of Eccleston, Parr, Sutton and Windle. These civil parishes were what eventually become the borough of St Helens. As a reflective and tranquil core to the work I decided to pay homage to two composers from both the orchestral and brass band worlds who's music l find emotionally engaging - Arthur Bliss and Eric Ball.
Ill: FROM THE GROUND, LIGHT
Until the mid 18th. Century, the towns local industry was mainiy based on small scale home based initiatives such as weaving and light extraction. Sitting on the South Lancashire coalfield, the town was physically and metaphorically built on coal, and it was this reason the council's coat of arms beard the motto ‘Ex Terra Lucem‘. The phrase refers to both the abundant and winnable coal resources (which can be burnt to produce light‘) in addition to their use in local industries such as glass (through which light passes)‘ The motto of the town and larger borough was changed in 1974 to ‘Prosperiias in Excelsis‘ (success in the highest, or, flourishing well), which is included on the arms at the Metropolitan Borough Council, but following it’s inspiration of the Olympic Gamers’ Opening Ceremony in 2012 residents felt the original motto was more appropriate to the town's history and hoot a greater meaning for the local people representing hope tor the future, and the motto was changed back to it's original. like the coal industry. the music is a 'slow-burner’, graduaity building from a quiet, high minamilist-esque figure in the comets at the outset through to the thunderous clunks and clangs of machinery towards the end of the movement. the majoritiy of the movement has a sense of minor tonality, before the light emerges from the depths at the close.