Scored for two SSATB choirs with two homs, this work sets a poem by Miguel de Unamuno in Spanish. This work has been performed in Australia, England and the USA, as well as throughout New Zealand.
It is a setting of a short poem by the Spanish poet Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) and begins by setting the text in a fragmentary manner, choosing single key words from the poem: canta (singing), luna (moon), sosegada (lulling), blanca (white), and sola (alone). Throughout, I have sought to evoke a mood of stillness and calm (except at the two main climaxes), and much of the writing consists of simple diatonic chords alternating between the two choirs. The work ends, as it began, alternating the words ‘canta’ and ‘luna’.
The unusual scoring came about through my friendship with a fine horn player and singer – a flippant comment about unorthodox combinations of forces (although I have heard one other work for horn and choir) providing the germ of idea which eventually did bear fruit.
The Moon is Silently Singing is one of my most widely preformed works internationally, having been heard in Australia, Canada, Germany, England and the USA.