When David heard that Absalom was slain, he went up into his chamber over the gate and wept, and thus he said, "My son, my son, O Absalom my son, would God I had died for thee! O Absalom, my son, my son!"
When David Heard was premiered by the BYU Singers in March of 1999 and was recorded in the Museum of Art on the BYU Campus. It appears on the Singer's CD: Eric Whitacre: The Complete A Cappella Works, 1991-2001.
Commissioned for the Singers by the Barlow Endowment for the Arts, Eric was partly inspired by news that the choir director's 19 year old son was killed in a car accident. Eric wrote: "Setting this text was such a lonely experience...I wrote maybe 200 pages of sketches, trying to find the perfect balance between sound and silence...and by the time I finished a year later I was profoundly changed." When David Heard is dedicated "with love and silence" to the choir's conductor, Dr. Ronald Staheli.