oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen


Choir started up again last night. For this concert, we're singing the work of two Scottish composers, James Macmillan (contemporary) and Robert Carver, a 16th century Scottish monk who wrote insanely complicated pieces.

"O bone Jesu," one of the Carver pieces, is a motet in nineteen parts--according to my conductor, it might have been sung for the private prayers of King James IV. We're divided three and sometimes four to a part. The other piece we're doing by Carver is double choir, but only ten parts. Only. The individual lines aren't difficult, and I'm already starting to feel the shape of what we worked on last night, but putting these together is going to be tough. The pieces take a lot of concentration and listening.

We've done Macmillan before, but not for many years; I am really happy to be revisiting some of his work, which can be absolutely spine-chillingly glorious. As our conductor said last night, "real angels," the kind with lots of eyes and terrifying wings and coals of fire in the mouth. There's a part that's like "angels flying right at you," which is the best description I can think of for how it feels to sing some of this stuff. I feel like I haven't sung enough contemporary music lately, and some of the chords we sang last night just felt bone-deep good.
Tags: singing

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