LINDA BUCKLEY Fall Approaches programme note

Linda Buckley Fall Approaches programme note

Fall Approaches (Haustid Nalgast) is a string arrangement of a piece of mine for choir and electronics originally composed for the New Dublin Voices (2007). It is inspired by Icelandic poetry, in particular the practice of 'rimur' chanting. The text set in the choral form is from Haustid Nalgast, an example of Rimur, written by Stefan Hvitadel (1887-1933). Rima (plural rimur) is a traditional form of narrative Icelandic epic song chanted or intoned in a specific manner called "ad kveda." The early rimur are primarily based on pre-existing narratives in prose, heroic tales, and mythical or purely fictitious sagas. The Icelanders enjoyed a special form of communal story-telling and poetry recitals from the earliest times, and these seem to have developed into the "kvoldvaka" (night-vigil), of which the chanting of rimur was an integral part.

Bob Gilmore from his 2008 article 'All Collisions End in Static: the Music of Linda Buckley' offers an interesting insight into the piece: "In works like Fall Approaches, and in even more recent pieces like Q for female voice and electronics and Fiol for string trio, all premiered this year, Buckley engages with an area of experience that new music is generally shy of, which, simplified and reduced to a single word, I'd call ecstasy. Not the drug-induced euphoria of dance music, but exultant, heightened states of being that are the product of an excitable sensibility, of an emotional response to the world that sees the bright places of life as clearly as the dark."

Fall Approaches - English translation

The blessed sun goes under the horizon
The golden clouds are glowing in the sky
The sensitive river keeps on crying (moved to tears)

The fall approaches and the winter storm
Soon we will not see the sun
Soon the river will be frozen

Plover disappears and its song is finished
It's getting dark but the sun in the south
Covers her with gold

The dark threatens the northern coast
The inner desire cries
For the Southern atmosphere

Do we just have dark nights
No relief nor inner rest
And no amends for suffering?

The sky above consoles the crying
Stars glow because of the light from God
Through the winter nights

The winter night will barely harm us
As the lights from above
Are watching the people

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