The Morning Star

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver

1. Apolopy

I'm sorry I missed last week - I had the flu and my head was a mess.

2. Another Apology

This week's song is crazy. It's for a soloist and choir. And not a normal soloist. Just so happens that there is a beautiful and brilliant young singer, Bethany Hill, based in Adelaide for whom I have composed this piece. She has one of those extremely high, extremely melismatic, wonderful voices. Like starlight. It takes my breath away.

So I collected and put together the words based on my feeling of her, and the way her voice makes me feel. There is poetry by Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, infused with ideas from The Bible and ancient ideas about the music of the celestial spheres.

She is the only person I know who can sing this song. So although it's a bespoke piece for a professional singer with an extreme voice, I'm sharing this here because it's what I've been working on for some weeks.

It was one of those experiences where I started with a lot of notes and ideas and kept carving back until I finally found what I was listening for. Which is a mildly alarming way to compose - because until the end, you just don't know what you're going to find...

3. An Explanation

During my vocal rest and surgery I became personally aware of the great, deep truth - that all things shall perish. I had to consider - what if I never sing again - what if that has perished? The answer was that the music that has come through me all my life will still come through me. Wild and Precious. But maybe it will travel through different channels - out my head, out my hands. 

I realised I needed to make composing the heart of my music making, and approach singers I know to breathe life into my work.

So I am holding true to this - I am writing new works, polishing up old works, finishing half written works, approaching singers whose voices inspire me - to have a concert and live recording.

4. A Date

This concert will be on the 13th of August. So for the next few months my focus will be on writing for this concert. Writing more sophisticated music for reading choirs. For the coming weeks this blog is going to move away from material for community choirs, and document my preparations for this concert. I will be back to normal material after then!

I will continue to be writing material for teaching sightsinging, so I will share occasionally some simple stuff.

5. Enjoy

I hope you enjoy hearing this. I can't wait to hear it with human voices and human hearts. If you are in Adelaide on the 13th of August you can hear it too. Or there will be a recording of the concert available shortly after.