The Great Darkness – Orlando Gough

Orlando Gough has set to music (very beautifully) the words of Robert Fludd from 1617 – ‘et sic in infinitum’ In the book Fludd talks about  how the universe came into being:

‘What was there before creation? Some first state of unformed matter, without dimension or quantity, neither small nor large, without properties or inclinations, neither moving nor still.’

And this is illustrated by an astonishing illustration which looks like something by an American abstract artist of the 1960s:

»et sic in infinitum (~ and like this to infinity)« by robert fludd (1617)
»et sic in infinitum (~ and like this to infinity)« by robert fludd (1617)

He then goes on about the Earth being at the centre of the universe (Copernicus has already come up with the heliocentric model, but Fludd doesn’t agree):

‘The earth is cold and dry; and as the darkest and heaviest element it sinks, as it were, to the centre of the universe. No wonder that the earth is such a vale of misery, since it is formed from the very dregs of creation. It contains the devil himself, enemy to God and man.’

The cliché is that people used to think of the Earth as the centre of the universe so that they themselves are at the centre, how reassuring; but he seems to be saying that the centre is basically a cesspit.

And he goes on into a refutation of Copernicus:

‘If the Earth were not the centre of the Universe, but a revolving body circling the Sun, as some ancient and modern philosophers maintain (notably Copernicus and William Gilbert), there would be no possibility of life on it: violent winds would sweep everything to the ground. Besides, it would be remarkable if the Earth alone were to move steadily on its axis, while all the other planets varied in latitude. Finally, as the Earth is the largest and densest of all bodies it stands to reason that it would be at the centre of the more rarified ones, and less apt to move than any of the others. The source of all power and movement is at the periphery of the universe, not in the centre – for…a wheel is more easily turned from its circumference than from its hub.’


Working with Struan Leslie

We had two great sessions with Struan (ex-director of music at the Royal Shakespeare Company) at the Sainsbury Centre today. We were planning and plotting the movement for the spaces at the Sainsbury Centre for The Observatory in May. This is Struan’s photo of choir members coming up the ramp.

Coming up the ramp (Photo - Struan Leslie)

Coming up the ramp (Photo – Struan Leslie_

The Sound of Space

Very interesting piece on BBC Radio 4 about the Sound of Space. Mostly, these are ‘sonifications’ of processes sped up or slowed down many times to create something in the human audible bandwidth. For those who didn’t hear the programme it’s still on the iPlayer. Link here

Lost & Found Reunion 13/5/15

Lovely to see everyone tonight. And great to dust off some of the Lost & Found songs to record – a bit like getting the decorations out again…

Rehearsing brass for Souvenir – London

Sounding good from the off. Here’s Yusuf and Jamie playing Chant #souvenir


“A month ago…

…. none of this existed” Sian said on the train to London. We were looking through the pile of music we’ve got that’s been commissioned for Souvenir for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. It’s amazing that all this work has been created and now we’re off to our usual Marylebone Lane haunt to rehearse with the Voice Project Quintet and try to visualise the next bit…

Souvenir Rehearsals

It was great to have our friends –  brilliant composer Orlando Gough and consultant director at the rehearsal on Tuesday evening along with Emma Bernard. We mainly focussed on Orlando’s pieces, Red Herring, When I am Laid and These Are The Things We Have Lost.

Red Herring is being recorded and will be on the site shortly but These are the Things and When I am Laid in Earth are up as demos. It would be good if as many people as possible could listen to them before next week.

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