draw down the clouds
before the first plush hours
of sweetened hushsleep
swim in the candlelight
as night paints upon night
bury your dusksongs deep
She has described Dusk Songs as ‘…a reflective work… that might be compared to the large-scale compositions written for the Eastern Church (such as the All-Night Vigil) where music and ritual are fused into a timeless expression of prayer. The service that comes closest to this in the Western tradition is Compline, a composite liturgy which draws from elements of Roman Catholic Vespers and Compline, which themselves have roots in the shared liturgical heritage of the Western and Eastern churches’.
Combining this liturgical background with her fascination with non-Western vocal styles, the pieces show influences that range from pentatonic overlapping phrases of the Central African Pygmies to a Norwegian folk scale, and from Byzantine chant to the harmonies found in the female choirs of Bulgaria. Her chosen texts combine Latin and English – plus a little Ancient Greek and Scottish Gaelic.
Do come and hear the JCS perform pieces from this fascinating collection – as well as works by JS Bach and Jonathan Harvey – on 21st March in the sonorous acoustics of St James’s Church, Sussex Gardens. Visit our ‘Performances’ page for more details and ticket information.