St John's College Chapel, St John's St,Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge, United Kingdom
The Blue Hour
Third year music student Hannah Dienes-Williams joins some of the best string players from across Cambridge University to give the European premiere of this unique 2017 song cycle, an ambitious collaboration between five of today's most distinctive voices in classical-indie music, setting words by Carolyn Forché.
A meditation on life and death, Forché's 2001 poem 'On Earth' indexes the fragmented mind of an individual in their last hours through the arbitrary system of alphabetisation. These dying images are masterfully set to music by Rachel Grimes, Angélica Negrón, Shara Nova, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider, with eclecticism that places Baroque parody next to indie ballads.
Collaborative creativity continues in performance, with a democratised, conductorless string orchestra embodying scattered thoughts, whilst a lone voice charts an entire human existence, set in cold, objective, alphabetical order. A work of intense originality in both text and sound, The Blue Hour stretches genre, time, and space.