Early Stroll Songs

Have just been reading through the proposed text for the Early Stroll Songs by Ian McMillan. 

As a composer myself (albeit a very low-level one) I'm looking at the words - which are based on Tweets - and thinking: "How would I go about setting these?". The answer is that I have no idea. 

Tweets are a bit like haiku. They are limited in length, but have to hold an entire context. They're complete, condensed and intense. It's this sort of thing which makes them so difficult for me, as a bad composer, to contemplate. I've got no doubt, though, that Richard Barnard is going to turn them into something marvellous for our commission in the autumn. 

But it's interesting doing it this way round: normally as a singer I get the musical score, devour the notes and (as a academically-minded musical analyst) subconsciously concern myself without how the music works, Then I take the important step of learning, understanding, declaiming and absorbing the words. This time I've got no choice. The music's not been written. I've only got the words. Instead of having the words presented to me through the lens of the music, I'm going to get the music added to the landscape of words that I already know. 

I'll try to keep you involved with that process as I start to get the music in the coming months.