I’m in the middle of composing for choir for the opening of the renovated ‘Llwyn Celyn’ house by Landmark Trust. The sheer wealth of material about the place, landscape, history, language and nature gathered by research, by knowledgable commissioners, professionals, friends and colleagues is such a treat, I’ll be blogging little nuggets to share the joy.
‘Enduring Like A Tree Under The Curious Stars’ is a commision for choir and I will follow a traditional approach to this composition referring to medieval music. Later this year, in September, I’ll be making my next contemporary cross-discipline work for Fort Process in Newhaven. To the eye perhaps miles apart, but the techniques I’m using in both works are very similar. It’s another reason for me to blog about this work to show how everything fits together.
Llwyn Celyn is one of the finest surviving medieval hall houses in the heart of the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons, which is being restored into it’s full glory by the Landmark Trust. Click on the links to read more.
Not only humans have been residing in Llwyn Celyn since 1420. When the Landmark Trust took on the renovation project they found a colony of bats to have built their happy homes, amongst which endagered species such as the Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bat. They are now rehoused in a part of the building especially designed to fit their habitat, let’s call it the Bat Wing of the house! ha.
Kasia Howard, engagement manager of the Landmark Trust, has been closely involved with the bat detection team and resulting rehousing developments. In my personal research of Llwyn Celyn’s past, present and future to find ingredients to feature in the work, she supplied me with beautiful recordings of the Greater Horseshoe bat.
The melodic qualities of this bat’s song are wonderful, bearing in mind of course, the actual pitches of the calls are significantly higher, beyond our human ear’s spectrum. As I come from an analog electronics background, the recordings to me sound similar to very early machines, like my favourite ARP2500 or Synthi100 presets. But of course, it’s the other way round – even though this is not exactly true as they are processed to make them audible to us – but still the specific modular sound qualities are there. Thank you Nature for A Sound Spectacular!
I’ve been analysing the calls and playing them on the piano, to get an artistic feel for it’s timing and pitch. Like a painter, it’s not always necessary to paint exactly what you see, it’s what you want to be seen. How it turns out we won’t know untill it’s finished.
The ‘Bat Wing‘ of Llwyn Celyn, at the barred window at the top of the white washed wall, under construction earlier this year.
Audio clip of the Greater Horseshoe bat by Darren Maynard.
#modernmedieval #choralmusic #llywncelyn #blackmountains #breconbeacons #bats #gwenhwyseg #cymru #whatdoesanartistdoallday #enduringlikeatreeunderthecuriousstars #october6
@stefhancaddick @LandmarkTrust @unicornsingers @HeritageLotteryFund