SONG PROJECT

A slowly evolving project with  Joe Butler and singer Sarah Verney Caird,
looking among other things at Troubadour poetry and songs.
It has taken different shapes:
It started off in 2005 with a solo voice song on a poem by Joe.

WHEN SPRING SPRINGS SWEETLY

  • In 2012, I wrote a song based on a troubadour poem translated into English by Joe Butler .

Here is a recording of its first performance at a house concert in December 2012, performed by Sarah Verney Caird  (voice) and Kesia Decote (piano)

WHEN SPRING SPRINGS SWEETLY

When Spring springs sweetly (text)

ON GARWAY HILL

  • In 2009 I asked Joe if he’d write a poem for a three-voices piece (one live and two pre-recorded in a performance situation). The text he produced prompted an attempt at writing a piece using some early Renaissance techniques, a homage rather than a pastiche. Sarah sang the three parts.

This recording is from a rehearsal at Grove House Oxford.

Also below, Joe Butler’s original poem

and views of Garway Hill and the church of St Michael’s Garway (Herefordshire) which I took in July 2015

ON GARWAY HILL

On Garway Hill

On Garway Hill the clouds mass on the hill’s brow

On Garway Hill the Oak stoops to drink from the pool

On Garway Hill the Hare leaps in the ears of wheat

History makes manifest the sublime

and the Child in Time reclines

in spindrift cloud

on Garway Hill

Mystery made manifest – the shrine

the knights brought from the east

and bedded in the bank

of Garway Hill

Synergy and symmetry define

The magical, the line

Scored in the turf

On Garway Hill

And the May blooms, and the lambs bleat, beneath the sickle moon that bellies brighter in the sky on Garway Hill

ST MICHAELS CHURCH GARWAY

ST MICHAELS CHURCH GARWAY

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VIEW FROM GARWAY HILL

VIEW FROM GARWAY HILL

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