Now this is exciting, for me at any rate.
I have cello lessons with the composer Gwyn Pritchard, something I have many reasons to be grateful for. He mentioned the castrati singers of the 18th century to me as I was pondering Anatomy of Murder, he is a constant source of musical inspiration, his daughter introduced me to Ned, he and his wife Claudia throw brilliant parties, and he asked me to write a text for a commission he had received from the Sofia soloists from Bulgaria. That piece is having its UK premiere on Friday and I can’t wait.
Should you wish to come along, you’ll find tickets here. The piece is for solo violin and soprano with chamber orchestra, and is called In the silence of turned earth… which is the first line of the text.
It was interesting to write something to be set and set by Gwyn. He does not like ‘story-book’ music, where concrete images are given a concrete depiction in the music, so I kept the piece abstract and open in both sound and meaning. Also there is a nod, given its Bulgarian genesis, to the legend of the martyrdom of St Sophia and her daughters. Even so, we ended up having a long discussion about the placing of a certain comma, because the setting would necessarily underline it and fix the sense of the line in a way that, were it to exist only on the page, it could remain ambiguous. All a very interesting process. Now it’s an incredible piece of music and to be performed by an great bunch of musicians. I’m very proud to have made a contribution.