The young, adventurous and talented Highfield Ensemble recently made a fantastic recording of my choral setting of a passage from Whitman’s Song of Myself. Sadly I couldn’t be there myself, but they were so sensitive to the score and detailed in their interpretation, that they didn’t seem to need my personal input at all. I can’t wait to hear them do it live one day! They did the recording in the beautiful St Mary’s Church, St Newington.
I believe in you my soul….
Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not
even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.
I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn’d over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue
to my bare-stript heart,
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.
Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass
all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women
my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love,
And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap’d stones, elder, mullein and
(Walt Whitman, Song of Myself 5)
Below is a video of the Highfield Ensemble rehearsing, and some pictures from the session: