you are the lonely bird [Mezzo-Soprano & Piano, 2019/21]
Mezzo-Soprano & Piano
2019 / 21
About this work‘You are the lonely bird’ uses text from the 8th Century Irish Gaelic poem ‘Donal Og’, translated by Irish writer and playwright Lady Augusta Gregory (1852-1932). The poem has unique grammatical structures that remain intact from the original Gaelic, and translated into Gregory’s Hiberno-English (otherwise known as Irish English), native to Kiltartan (West Ireland).
The musical material reflects the mix of past and present tenses used by the author (‘it is late last night...’) and the balance of presence / absence on the part of the loved one, intertwining material already heard and that which has not yet been heard fully, to create a sense of swirling memories and a fluctuating and unbalanced emotional state.
‘You are the lonely bird’ was commissioned and developed through the Wild Plum Songbook 2019, created by Wild Plum Arts, PRS for Music and Cheltenham Music Festival. The piece was premiered by Jessica Summers and Jelena Makarova in St Peter’s Church, Nottingham on 2nd October 2021.
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