March 2020 brings a world premiere tour for Emma-Ruth Richard’s Until a reservoir no longer remains for Cello duet, performed by Guy Johnston and Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
Tour dates include:
Saturday 7 March Royal Academy of Music, London
Friday 13 March Red Brick Auditorium, Halifax Philharmonic Club
Saturday 14 March Stoller Hall, Manchester
Sunday 15 March Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London
The work takes inspiration from Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers, in which the shock of sudden bereavement for a father and his two young children places them in a numbed state, until the intervention of a winged creature, Crow.
“I plucked one jet feather from my hood and left it on his forehead – for a souvenir,
for a warning, for a lick of night in the morning. […] He woke up and didn’t see me
against the blackness of his trauma.”
Having read Porter’s book several times, I was gripped by his language in describing the sheer intensity of human grief and how the Crow ‘consumes’ grief: “We can do things other characters can’t, like eat sorrow.” This piece starts with an intense but hushed, contained, ‘scream’ as if it is trapped in the belly of the mind. The tension between the two cellos is paramount in depicting the sense of trauma being compressed into the smallest of places. It is forcibly contained until eventually something breaks, and the blackness is unleashed.Grief can feel like a slow tightening around the chest and heart like the crushing coils of a constrictor, squeezing liquid from the eyes until a reservoir no longer remains. Having wept, a new state is reached.Emma-Ruth Richards