Veni, numen

Veni, numen is a composition for mixed a cappella choir with divisi and soprano soloist. The text of the work corresponds to cantio XVIII and XLII of Elias Lönnrot’s Kalevala. It is a plea of the crew members to the mythological gods of the wind, Vellamo (God of the sea), Ukko (God of the sky) and Ahto (God of the deep) that their ships may not be damaged during their voyages at sea, and that they may return safe and sound. The piece begins with this plea. Subsequently, a story is narrated where the ship suffers a storm at sea. Within it, the crew members again beseech the gods to calm the situation and not to harm their vessels. Within the work one can find some details that serve as a tribute to the work “Incantatio Maris Aestuosi” by Veljo Tormis. As inspiration for composing this piece, besides the aforementioned work, I have found a source of inspiration in the work of Claude Debussy, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Albert Alcaraz or Jaakko Mäntyjärvi.

“Non in navibus est flendum nec in lintre lamentandum”.

“Navis velis vento datis coepit caerulum sulcare”.

”Veni, Numen, nunc in navem,
in carinam, Deus clemens,
adiuves ut virum parvum
desque debili virtutem,
amplioribus in aquis,
in his fluctibus immensis!”.

”Vente, cunula carinam,
aqua navem agitato,
opem ferto remiganti,
levamentum gubernanti
amplioribus in aquis,
ubi pontus est apertus!”.

Transit temporis momentum,
interest haud longa mora.
Iam supremus deus Ukko,
ipse dominus aurarum,
flatus iussit, ut afflarent,
saevos ventos, ut saevirent.

Surgunt flatus ad afflandum,
turbines ad saeviendum.
Zephyrus flat violenter,
caurus ventus vehementer,
auster gravius anhelat,
foede stridet subsolanus,
eurus mugit malo more
acer aquilo conspirat.

”Aqua, filium vetato,
unda, natum prohibeto,
Ahto, pelagus placato,
aquae, Vellamo, catervas,
ne liquores super latus,
intra costas conspergantur!”.

Surge, vente, caelum usque,
pete nubila suprema,
tuam stirpem, nationem,
et originem et ortum!
Lintrem ligneam ne vertas,
puppim pineam ne mergas.

“It is not worth mourning and lamenting on ships”.

“The sails of the ship given by the wind began to sail the blue.”

“Come, Numen, now to my ship,
to the keel, merciful God,
help the feeble brave
and give strength to the weak,
In the wide expanse of the waters,
“In the vastness of the waves!

“Wind, rock the boat,
On the rough water,
“Help the oarsmen,
Smoothes the piloting,
In the wide expanse of water,
Where the waters open!”.

A short period of time passed, there was no long wait
when Ukko, the Supreme God,
Himself, God of the air,
commanded to blow and puff, Wild winds stirred violently.

Then the winds rose in fury, the whirlwinds roared.
Zephyrus blew violently,
the northwest wind impetuously.
the south wind roared fiercely,
the east wind shrieked viciously,
the south-east wind bellowed, and
the north wind conspired howling.

“Water, now restrain your children,
waves, restrain their birth
Ahto, calm the sea,
Vellamo, tame the waters,
Lest they splash our ships, Nor roll over my ship’s sides!”

Rise, wind, to the sky,
I beseech thee to the highest clouds, To the descendants of thy race,
And their origin and their parentage!
Do not harm this wooden boat,
do not sink this pine-wooden boat.