IRENE BUCKLEY STÓRR programme note

Irene Buckley STÓRR for orchestra without percussion
(2009)
Programme note

Recently I came in contact with Gaelic Psalmody, a musical style of singing found in the Outer Hebrides, the Scottish islands.

Psalmody is a form of unaccompanied church singing where a precentor sings a Psalm and the congregation sings it back. In secular Gaelic music, ornamentation and embellishment of the tune are important features, as they are in Psalmody, resulting in a distinctive sound where the whole congregation improvises through ornamentation. This produces a unique swell of vocalisation, a smearing and overlapping of sounds due to the congregation members' individual improvisations.

Overlapping of sound has played a significant part in my work, particularly in two pieces which were written after I had become familiar with Gaelic Psalmody. These pieces are For de ereprijs, for large ensemble, and Stórr, for orchestra without percussion.

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