SILENCE

At St. Anne’s Church in Lewes, there is an anchorite hole.

 

Could I live the life of an anchorite, or a hermit? Not a chance. Too quiet, too slow, too lonely.

What does silence mean to me? On the one hand, in a noisy world, it’s a precious commodity. On the other hand, it’s three o’clock in the morning, and I’m sifting through all the bad stuff in my life, and I’m terrified.

This is what the piece will be about.

No, it’s to be a choral piece. So something about collective silence.

On the radio a Libyan refugee is talking about the experience of crossing the Mediterranean on a boat. He describes it as ‘a great journey made in silence’. (Oddly enough, I’ve come across this phrase before, in a Michael Ondaatje novel.)

So that’s it. The collective experience of being in transit, fearful, in limbo.

The music arises out of silence, dissolves into silence. It’s simple, monumental, epic.

A piece about silence, made in sound.

 

Listen

We have come from far away

A great journey made in silence

 

Listen to the silence

It is a hyena it is a jackal

It is a lost child it is a mother searching

It is an oasis it is an embrace it is a prayer

It is a storm cloud a distant guillotine a slow guillotine

It is a dung beetle it is a virus

It is a dark room it is a blinding light

No-one can walk in its sight

 

Listen

We have come from far away

A great journey made in silence

Listen