Portland, OR (March 29, 2021)
Naomi LaViolette announces the release of her new record Stabat Mater Dolorosa the week before Holy Week. In 2019, LaViolette was asked to arrange music for a Stations of the Cross service at Resurrection Catholic Parish in Tualatin, OR. She was handed a simple Latin chant from the 1200s with 15 verses called “Stabat Mater Dolorosa,” and told she could do whatever she wanted with it for the service.
“I decided not to change the vocal melody very much, because I wanted congregants to be able to sing along in the service. The piano accompaniments range from jazz and rock to ambient, with harmonic influences of Arvo Pärt and Morten Lauridsen. The arrangement was very well received during the service, so I decided to record it for more listeners to enjoy. I connect particularly with the suffering of Mary when I sing it. Basically, it’s her experience at the cross, watching her child be tortured and killed. It’s brutal and horrible, and it’s a reminder that suffering touches all of us at one time or another in life. Mary gets it. She understands. I love to make music at the intersection of empathy and creativity, and this chant fits the bill. I hope this recording can bring peace and comfort to all listeners, regardless of their faith practice.” —Naomi LaViolette
Since its recording, the tracks were used in a virtual Stations of the Cross service created by Resurrection Catholic Parish during Holy Week 2020. It is also being considered for use in a Stations of the Cross presentation in 2021 at the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC.
A gifted songwriter and versatile pianist from the Pacific Northwest, Naomi LaViolette’s favorite place to make music is at the intersection of creativity and empathy. Her original songs mine not only the vulnerable depths of her life, but also the joy found in natural spaces, love and friendship, spiritual journeys, and challenging topics of loss. LaViolette’s songs are piano driven folk-pop with elements of classical and jazz. Her roots are deep in classical music—she has a master’s degree in classical piano performance—but has also immersed herself in the study of jazz standards, folk songs, soul, pop and Gospel.
Stabat Mater Dolorosa: