Béal presents Four - a year in a day through music and text

Béal presents Four - a year in a day through music and text

Friday, 9 November 2018, 7.30am

Through Friday 9th November, Béal present the word premiere of Four in the Music Room of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. This is an immersive work for soprano, speaker, audience, baroque ensemble, live electronics and video by the composer David Bremner and poet Billy Mills.

Four is a cantata loosely based on the theme of the four seasons, traced through the life-cycle of a leaf. It will take place sunrise to sunset on Friday November 9th 2018 the movements will be spaced through the day:

7.30am – Winter | 10.30am – Spring
1.30pm – Summer | 4.30pm – Autumn

The choice of a day-long performance comes from a wish to really engage with the gradual changes that a year encompasses. This is often difficult for those of us who live busy, short-term-oriented lives. So we chose to use the day as a microcosm for the year. We hope that the environment, changes in the light over the day, the work's complex organism with gradual transitions and recollections of earlier moments can make this an interesting way of reflecting a larger structure. For those participating it will be an experimental, experiential form of listening

David and Billy have been collaborating together for a number of years. They created Loop Walks for polyphonic speaking chorus for our festival in 2012 and in 2014 Logical Fallacies a 45 minute song-cycle for soprano and viola.

David describes the process for this new work here:

“The music comes from a research process into the area of contour, the vague shape of a melody, as a way of displaying similarities, family resemblances, between overtly different manifestations. The whole work is formed from this material.

“Mills' poetry is deeply minimal, and the constant near-repetitions of the contour material lead to a paradoxical, dream-like atmosphere, where the musical material is slowly transformed, akin to a natural process. Time is experienced as a spiral, a journey with constant reminiscences.

“The contour techniques used by the musicians are new but they are embedded in the concept of Baroque rhetoric, a performative process. The contour shapes create an all-purpose material, from which Baroque forms are sculpted, emerging and submerging.

“Putting contour to the foreground in this way is unprecedented but despite the cutting-edge nature of the work, the technique also allows for untrained and trained musicians to participate fully in a significant chorus role in the work.”

Space is limited so pre-booking is advised. We are grateful to the support of South Dublin County Council and Christ Church Cathedral for making this project possible.

The concerts are free entry, but booking is recommended. Please contact us at [email protected]



Published on 18 October 2018

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