|Pärt||My Heart’s in the Highlands*|
|Pärt||Sarah Was Ninety Years Old* (extracts)|
|Pärt||I Am the True Vine*|
|Pärt||Spiegel im Spiegel*|
|*to be heard during the film screening of Songs from the Soil|
We welcome Theatre of Voices to open Nature Unwrapped’s music programme with a spell-binding evening of choral music by Jóhann Jóhannsson, Arvo Pärt and Michael Gordon.
The evening begins with Jóhannsson’s Orphic Hymn, followed by a live performance of Pärt’s music to Phie Ambo’s film, Songs from the Soil, an abstract meditation on the passing seasons on a biodynamic farm in northern Denmark.
In the second half, Theatre of Voices will sing the UK premiere of Michael Gordon’s A Western, inspired by the 1952 film High Noon (starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly). The cowboy and his gun are treated as emblems of American mythology. Though the sheriff believes in doing his duty to protect his town from outlaws, he is about to marry an ardent pacifist.
Michael Gordon’s music draws upon the story to evoke the atmosphere of 1950’s USA culture into which he was born and grew up. There is even a TV-style commercial in the middle. Gradually, the film refuses (or defuses) the attraction of macho gunmen, while presenting the child’s dream of being a cowboy hero with affection. Gordon’s A Western is a subtle critique of the consumerist imperative, which inevitably leads to the destruction of nature.
You might also like ‘Good Things Await – Film’ at 5pm in St Pancras Room today.