O Fragile Human

In Early 2004, 27 choirs from around the world, but predominantly from the United States and New Zealand commissioned me to write five works for unaccompanied mixed choir. The texts, both sacred and secular were selected from a possible sixteen through a ballot among the participating choirs. By early 2005 the five songs were complete and already many of them had received several performances. The titles are:

And I Saw The River

As I Walked Along The Street – Woodley Ensemble, Frank Albinder

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A Voice From Heaven

Reflection On Palm Sunday

The Spark’s Farewell To Its Clay

In early 2006, seeing the strong musical links that had without any conscious effort on my part, formed between the songs I decided to group them as a cycle. Their title O Fragile Human is taken from the text of the third song, by Hildegard of Bingen. While individual songs work perfectly well on their own, the synergy when the whole cycle is performed is clearly apparent.

Please contact me if you would like to see a perusal score. I have now posted all the recordings I have received, and will update this page regularly.

I am very grateful to the choirs and choral directors who participated and supported this venture. Their names and contact details are below. I am also grateful to advisor Rose Campbell of Wellington who gave me guidance in arranging funding for this project through Creative New Zealand.

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“… a remarkably rich palette of colors and textures [handled] with astonishing restraint and delicacy”


extended SATB choir






an international consortium funded by Creative New Zealand