A New Song : [for two choirs and soloists]
Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Research Institute
School of Creative Arts
A New Song is a choral work commissioned by Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford [‘One of the finest choirs on earth’ – Channel 4; ‘To hear a choir like this is to hear a quality of musicianship with no equal anywhere in the world’ – The Independent on Sunday.] Originality: ‘A New Song’ redefines the relationship of sound, text and sensory experience in a liturgical setting; a departure from the traditional nature of most contemporary liturgical music. A non-narrative, non-rhyming text is formed from exclamations, interjections and commentaries and fully integrated with the music/sound. Thus, words, sensations and experiences are evoked by novel, unvoiced and voiced extended vocal techniques, sub-particulates of vowel/consonant, humming and song, broadening the expressive range. Significance: ‘A New Song’ seeks to enhance knowledge and practice by addressing research questions such as: can the simultaneous creation of pitch, timbre, texture and text combined with an innovative approach to synaesthetic communication, create a new paradigm in liturgical music? And: can the expressive range and imaginative scope of liturgical music be increased in such a way that heightens the aesthetic experience of listeners without alienating them? Rigour: The application of the principles outlined above and the use of new harmonic constructions (interchords) is precisely and methodically applied to form a coherent gestalt – a new song.