Ex Cathedra will be releasing a new day of events celebrating their 50th Anniversary on Saturday 5 September. This includes a new addition to Parry’s setting of Jerusalem by Liz called Blake Reimagined. Taking the skeleton of the familiar Parry melody and harmonies Liz has created a new contemplative central section to the hymn performed by the different choirs within Ex Cathedra, with a message for our current times.
Liz Dilnot tells us about the project:
“When Director of Ex Cathedra Jeffrey Skidmore met me for lunch on a Friday about 5 weeks ago he muttered something about ‘could I do something interesting with Verse 2 of Jerusalem?’ and over that weekend I came up with an open score for 2 unaccompanied choirs plus improvising singer.
Fast forward a few weeks and this Saturday, having got all the choirs to record remotely (challenging for an improvisatory score! – creating the click track was a challenge…), Jeffrey said he’d found a classical Indian singer from Birmingham who was happy to work with me to create her part. So on Bank holiday Monday Debipriya Das and I started working out what to do (on Zoom of course).
Debi then recorded her part and in a flash Simon King has created an ethereal edit of sound and image.
My idea for the images in the film was to have each choir member and other people supported by Ex Cathedra (in hospitals, schools, etc) shown in photos with a placard using the words I’ve picked from Jerusalem – ‘Bring me…’ ‘I will…’ and ‘Till we have built…’ In each case, each person was invited to complete the sentence in their own way, as a response to Covid, or a response to our current times. These have been woven through with other placards from the suffragette movement and Black Lives Matter”.
Jerusalem will be the last piece in the film, which will be available from Saturday on Youtube. More info at Ex Cathedra website.
Another project with a FaceBook focus, Liz Dilnot Johnson has written A Little Lockdown Lyric for Duncan Honeybourne’s “Lockdown Series” on Facebook Contemporary Piano Soundbites. Duncan has recorded some of these pieces for a new album being released soon with Prima Facie, raising money for Help Musicians UK. Duncan writes of the project:
‘Contemporary Piano Soundbites’ is a collection of solo piano miniatures composed, directly or indirectly, in response to the 2020 coronavirus crisis. I invited a selection of today’s leading UK-based contemporary composers to write a piano miniature, lasting anything from 30 seconds up to 5 minutes. Each miniature was premiered in a video recording, posted online in the Contemporary Piano Soundbites series during the lockdown, and I invited donations for the Help Musicians UK Coronavirus Hardship Fund from those who enjoyed listening. The next part of the project is a CD recording, to bring these wonderful pieces to a wider listenership and hopefully to raise a bit more money!Duncan Honeybourne
Composers Edition is proud to present a range of works by Liz Dilnot Johnson available in our website – including A Little Lockdown Lyric – and looks forward to publishing Blake Reimagined in due course.