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Voices of the Air

for mezzo-soprano and piano

Year:  2023   ·  Duration:  2m

Year:  2023
Duration:  2m

Nigel Keay

Composer:   Nigel Keay

Films, Audio & Samples

Nigel Keay introduces 'Voic...

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Nigel Keay: Voices of the A...

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Voices of the Air is a setting of the poem by Katherine Mansfield for mezzo-soprano and piano, and was composed in July 2023 for Sherry Grant and Tessa Romano. Between each stanza is a micro-interlude for the piano alone, thus as a consequence the song has a somewhat undulating form, where the music of the verses tends toward the minimal, and that of the piano generates more activity, in effect a wave motion in reference to the "sea and wind" of the text. Concurrently with working on Voices of the Air I was preparing a work by Arnold Trowell for an upcoming performance, a work that was almost certainly composed in Katherine Mansfield's lifetime, and we know that Mansfield would've been familiar with Trowell's music, so it seemed appropriate, while setting the poem, to be immersed in this particular sound-world.

Voices of the Air was written in 1916. Katherine Mansfield's brother, Leslie Heron Beauchamp died 6 October 1915 aged 21 years old and is buried at Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Text note

Text by Katherine Mansfield