26 May Breathe
Breathe (2010) weaves together the words of German composers Hildegard von Bingen and Antonio Scandello with those of Toronto writer Anna Chatterton. Each part of the piece focuses on one of the four elements—air, fire, water, and earth—which are strongly present in the poetry. Water runs through the lyrical, flowing opening (“love overflows…”); air follows, quick and restless (breathing, sighing, rising, falling); then fire and earth, in warm, close intervals (“Most noble greenness, rooted in the sun, you shine bright and serene…”). These threads weave the piece together, and serve as metaphors for human closeness, desire, love, spirit—invisible threads that sustain us, that connect us to each other and to the divine.
Breathe was commissioned by Soundstreams Canada (Lawrence Cherney, Artistic Director) for Trio Mediaeval and the Toronto Consort, with the assistance of The Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.