“In lumine Domini (Suite No. 1)” (2011–12) is from a large cycle of organ suites that each combine elements of traditional concert and church music with techniques from minimalist, ambient, and aleatoric (open form) music. Loosely inspired in concept by Tournemire’s “L´orgue mystique,” Hansen seeks in these suites to create music of meditative character that invites contemplation, with each suite being particularly suited for use in church services with a meditative cast. Each of the suites has the same four movement form, in which the first and third movements employ aleatoric/open form techniques to produce music of flexible structure and length. The second and fourth movements, by contrast, are through-composed in fixed form. All the musical material is linked throughout the suite. The first ten suites were commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
Suite No. 1 explores entirely pandiatonic harmonies. In the first movement, three different elements cycle at their own pace, presenting pandiatonic triads and clusters in E major. The second movement is an aria, with a roving harmonic motion that never quite settles in the expected places. In the third movement, isolated notes quietly hocket back and forth between two 4’ flutes. The gestures begin to appear in different orders and with slight variations. In the postlude, pandiatonic clusters slowly climb up in register using a similar harmonic motion to the second movement. In the coda, the isolated notes of the third movement are recalled.