Olivier Messiaen was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex; harmonically and melodically it is based on modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from his early compositions and improvisations. Messiaen also drew on his deeply held Roman Catholicism.
He travelled widely and wrote works inspired by diverse influences such as Japanese music, the landscape of Bryce Canyon in Utah and the life of St. Francis of Assisi. He said he perceived colours when he heard certain musical chords, particularly those built from his modes; combinations of these colours, he said, were important in his compositional process. For a short period Messiaen experimented with the parametrisation associated with "total serialism", in which field he is often cited as an innovator. His style absorbed many exotic musical influences such as Indonesian gamelan. He was one of the first composers to use an electronic keyboard—in this case, the ondes Martenot—in an orchestral work.
Ascension He has gone away, the Well-Beloved, For our sake! He is risen, the Well-Beloved, For our sake! He has prayed, the Well-Beloved, For our sake! He has spoken, He has sung, The Word was with God. Praises of the Father, Substance of the Father, The stamp and issue forever, In Love! Word of Love!