Scottish Voices Recordings
Graham Hair: O Venezia
O Venezia is a multi-voice song cycle, composed for the ensembles Scottish Voices in Glasgow, Pandora’s Vox in Boston and Halcyon in Sydney. The creation and realisation of the work has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board of the UK.
The title comes from the celebrated account in Wagner’s diary of a sleepless night on a Venetian balcony, in which the composer of The Ring was deeply affected by the sounds of the lagoon and the song (‘O Venezia’) of the gondolieri.
The anthology of texts consists of material by Venetians or (more frequently) visitors to Venice, material about Venice or excerpted from musical works composed for performance in Venice, or material connected with Venice in some other way. The texts are in Latin, French, German and English as well as Italian: texts whose dates range from the medieval (Ave maris stella) to the late twentieth century (Luigi Nono).
In certain respects, the compositional style exemplifies ‘new tonality’: but referential or motivic (not functional) tonality, and even a few ‘minimalistic’ aspects (albeit essentially only in the harmonic domain). Nevertheless, most of the formal processes, in the large and the small, are constructivist to the core………..but attempt, nevertheless, to cast such modernist techniques in new expressive contexts.
The composition and realisation of O Venezia was made possible by an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK
The performers in this recording are Frances Morrison-Allen and Amanda Morrison (sopranos), Taylor Wilson and Anne Lewis (mezzo-sopranos) with Helen Thomson (harp), conducted by the composerGH
Play five songs from O Venezia
Graham Hair: Sibylline Voices
Sibylline Voices is a setting of texts from Lassus's Prophetiae SibyllarumGH
Play Sibylline Voices
Time Squared uses the poetry of Robert Penn Warren as a springboard to explore various facets of time: frozen time, linear vs. non-linear time, distorted time, multi-dimensional time, to name a few. These works express the poetry through a combination of rhythmic devices which can be strictly notated or freely interpreted depending on the context. Text for a poetic statement is often divided amongst the singers but also threaded in overlapping layers which distort the meaning. One poem is translated into a unique dialect thus emphasizing the sound of words as their meaning is subverted.
Safe in Shade is based on Warren's poem of the same name, a work which seems to explore the variable nature of time passing but leaves as many questions as it provides answers to this conundrum. The first section describes a single moment in time when a boy sits “safe and secure” in the shadow of the cedar tree in the company of an elder.The second major section shifts into a timeless vortex of unknown, but significant, events in the life of the narrator who reflects on "That paradox the world exemplifies". Time reels forward to the present where, in stanza eight, the narrator takes fleeting time as his subject and he looks to the future. The final section asks simply "Where is my cedar tree? Where is the Truth-oh, unambiguous-Thereof?".
Safe in Shade is dedicated to Scottish Voices in Glasgow under the direction of Graham Hair and the composer would like to express a deep appreciation for the care and artistry with which they prepared this world premiere performance.BM
Recording made in the Chapel of Glasgow University, 2006, with Susan Hamilton, Amanda Morrison, Taylor Wilson and Dorcas Owen (voices) and Helen Thomson (harp), conducted by Graham Hair
Play Safe in Shade
Recording made in the Douglas and Beatrice Covington Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, Radford University, Virginia, April 2009, with Frances Morrison-Allen, Alison McNeill, Anne Lewis and Dorcas Owen (voices) and Jacqueline Pollauf (harp), conducted by Graham Hair
Play Time Squared (1): Safe in Shade
Play Time Squared (2): Platonic Drowse
Play Time Squared (3): Dreaming in Daylight
An anthology of arrangements for Scottish Voices by Graham Hair
Play American Waltzes
Play Vernacular Paraphrases
Oliver Searle: Twelve Steps to a Delightful Evening
Performance by Scottish Voices with the Symposia Ensemble, conducted by the composer.
1. Greet Guest within thirty seconds
Bigger the sale the bigger the tipOS
Play Twelve Steps to a Delightful Evening