Morten Lauridsen
Morten Lauridsen

film poster
Film Poster for Shining Night


O Magnum Mysterium (excerpt)
Composed by Morten Lauridsen
Performed by Dale Warland Singers on Lux Aurumque

Film Festivals


DC Independent Film Festival
(Best Documentary)
Eugene Film Festival
(Best Documentary Intl Subject)
Friday Harbor Film Festival
(Audience Favorite Award)
Asheville Cinema Festival
(Best Documentary)
Cincinnati Film Festival
(Best Documentary, Nominated)
Oregon Music Awards (Bronze)
LA Movie Awards (Honorable Mention)

Official Selection
American Documentary Film Festival
Reel Music Festival, Portland OR
Thin Line Film Festival, Denton TX
Carmel Art & Film Festival, Carmel CA
ReFrame International Film Festival, Ontario
Danish Film Festival, Copenhagen
Big Green Film Festival, Bristol, UK
Albuquerque Film & Media Experience, NM
Waimea Ocean Film Festival, HI
Lucerne International Film Festival

Film Wiki Page

Film IMDB Page

Film Facebook Page

Shining Night
A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen

A Song Without Borders Production
A Film by Michael Stillwater
Produced by Michael Stillwater & Doris Laesser Stillwater

View online  

Shining Night offers a glimpse into the life and music of one of America's greatest contemporary composers, National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen, who has written much of his remarkable music in his rustic cabin on Waldron Island and his home on San Juan Island. He has been called 'the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic' by musicologist Nick Strimple.

Exploring the relationship of art, nature, and spirituality, Shining Night reveals the composer through the lens of his love for the natural world together with his passion for music and poetry, interwoven with commentaries from composers, conductors, singers, and friends.

Filmed between 2010-2011 in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Aberdeen, Scotland, and Waldron Island, the documentary conveys the richness and breadth of the award-winning composer's life, with a soundtrack featuring his masterworks- Lux Aeterna, O Magnum Mysterium, Nocturnes (Sa Nuit D'Ete, Soneto de la Noche, and Sure On This Shining Night), Dirait-on and Madrigali.

Since opening in Palm Springs, California on February 7, 2012, the film is winner of four Best Documentary awards at US Film Festivals. Now being screened throughout the world, Shining Night was named 'a heartening rarity' by Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal. Directed by Michael Stillwater and co-produced with his wife Doris Laesser Stillwater, it gives audiences a rare encounter with music that inspires humanity and conveys a spiritual transmission to singers and audiences alike.


In Order of Appearance:
Alex Shapiro- composer, San Juan Island
David Loyd- boat pilot, Waldron Island
Ryan Drum- marine biologist, Waldron Island
Dana Gioia- poet and former chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Paul Salamunovich- director emeritus of the Los Angeles Master Chorale
Robert Geary- artistic director of Volti and the San Francisco Choral Society
Aundrea Schindler- singer, San Francisco
Paul Mealor- composer and conductor of Con Anima Chamber Choir
and the University of Aberdeen Choral Society and Orchestra
Gary Malkin- composer, Ojai, CA
Giselle Wyers- conductor, U.W., Seattle, WA
Nicol Matt- conductor, Freiburg, Germany
Ola Gjeilo- composer, New York

All Music by Morten Lauridsen
Live performances by San Francisco Choral Society, Volti,
Aberdeen Choral Society and Orchestra, and Con Anima Chamber Singers
Music used courtesy of Peermusic, publisher and copyright holder under the imprints Southern Music Publishing Co., Inc., and Songs of Peer, Ltd.
Special thanks to Todd Vunderink of Peermusic Classical New York for permission to use Morten Lauridsen's music in this film.
Re-recording Engineer: Dan Alvarez, San Francisco
Video Compositor: Joel Helmlinger, Ground15 Productions, Zurich, Switzerland

Special thanks to all speakers, singers, musicians, conductors, publishers, record companies and friends for their contributions in the making of this film, and to Ursula Lamberson, Wendy Grace, Camille Adair and Living Bridges for their sponsorship, without whom this film could not have happened.