|December 6, 2013|
|10:30 am||to||4:30 pm|
|January 11, 2014||to||January 12, 2014|
It’s a pleasure to announce that I’ve been shortlisted for the Britten Sinfonia’s OPUS2014 competition. I am currently composing a wind quintet (my second of 2013!), which will be workshopped with the Britten Sinfonia – under the watchful eye of Huw Watkins – in January. From that point, one of the composers will be selected to complete their piece for a series of concerts with the Sinfonia in Autumn 2014.
Obviously I’m just beginning the work, but I’ve already landed on the title of my new piece: The Dialect of Lunatic Hurricanes. This is taken from the first poem in the most recent issue of Modern Poetry Translation Magazine, which focuses on Polish poetry. In her opening editorial, Sasha Dugdale makes a powerful case – in the line of Seamus Heaney’s The Impact of Translation - that we have a constant need for voices that are ‘credible, desolating and resuscitative.’ That the roads taken by the leading lights of the generations ahead of us are not the only options.
I have been approaching this work as very close family friends deal with an extremely difficult situation involving one of their young children. As I’ve rolled the music over and around in my head, these words – “credible, desolating and resuscitative” – have been resonating with me as the responsibility of artists when we are responding to suffering in the world. Without ever being indulgent, we must be serious about representing and responding to the world as it actually is.
It’s hard to know how much of our own situation we read into art, but for me, all of these ideas were seemingly wrapped up into the very first poem in the magazine. That poem, Dialect of Hurricanes – translated by André Naffis-Sahely from Frankétienne‘s original French opens:
Every day, I use the dialect of lunatic hurricanes.
I speak the folly of colliding winds.
Ever evening, I use the patois of furious rains.
I speak the fury f flooding waters.
Every night, I speak to the Caribbean islands in the tongue of
hysterical storms. I speak the hysteria of the roaring sea.
Dialect of hurricanes. Patois of rains. Language of storms. Flow
of the spiralling life….