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Undoubtedly, this is one of Whitehead's more unusual collaborations. The work, intended for five dancers and organ, with soprano added at the composer's request, was to have been performed in five cathedrals around Britain during the summer of 1982. Due to the cancellation of the dance component however, the work received performance in only one of the cathedrals - Carlisle - but was later presented with a solo dancer, Bronwyn Judge, at the 1987 Sonic Circus in Wellington. The singer on that occasion was Glenys Taylor and the organist Douglas Mews. The composer initially delayed beginning work on the piece, since her sister was expecting a baby, and a Requiem did not seem an appropriate preoccupation. The successful birth was however followed by two close-family deaths and it was these which provided the composer with the emotional impetus to proceed with the composition. (Programme note by Emma Carle and Jack Body).
Commissioned by the English Dance Theatre in association with the Arts Council of Great Britain
23 Feb 2000: Performed by Scilla Askew (soprano) and Douglas Mews (organ)