Spaces-Beyond the End of the World

Song cycle for combinations of SATB, 2 percussion, harp, piano and organ
60 minutes
Text: ancient Welsh verse, Henry Thoreau, John of the Cross, Stewart Edward White, Rebecca Stager, extracts from Psalms & the Mass (Latin & Greek)
Commissioned with funding from Arts Council Wales and PRS Foundation. First performed 24/06/06 at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff by Serendipity, Only Men Aloud! and Vivace Singers.

This cycle of songs explores the notion of a great journey - perhaps an inner journey, or a final journey, or perhaps a journey to a new and uncharted realm beyond all that is known. It meditates on the idea of the vast worlds that exist nearby-around us as we travel, under the ground we walk on-but always beyond reach and understanding, as well as concepts of solitude and awe.

Spaces takes a variety of texts, including ancient Welsh verse, Henry Thoreau, John of the Cross, Stewart Edward White, the Psalms and Mass extracts in Latin and Greek, clippings from press and radio, a poet from Alabama called Rebecca Stager, and verse in French by the composer.

It is scored for various combinations of voices, piano, harp and keyboard and designed for expansion and performance in large-scale open sites, such as quarries, incorporating elements of choreography, image projection and dramatic lighting.

Spaces was commissioned by the Vivace Singers and performed with Only Men Aloud! as Serendipity with funding from the Arts Council of Wales and the PRS Foundation.

"Each [part] was a vivid realisation of its title... finding... a speed and rhythmic movement which belonged to that piece alone and created a particular and exclusive world for it."
Enid Luff, Composers of Wales newsletter, May 2006


*Grateful thanks to video editor John Gillanders at Barcud Derwen, camera operator Aled Jenkins and sound recordist Deian Humphreys.

back to works