By Dominic McGonigal and Euan Tait, arranged by Dominic McGonigal
For Choir (2018), 9'10" mins.
Voicing: SSSS, a rec
Rhythm Herd is a celebration of rhythmic energy in words and music. Euan Tait's poem harnesses the stampede of whinnying horses, the crackle of the fire, thundering south and gives the singers the power of nature's forces. The four sopranos keep constant pulse passed between the voices as the quavers are herded into chords, melody, phrases and whole movements. Their warm tones are punctuated by riffs on the recorder, building up to an extended obbligato fughetta. Finally, the heart dissolves to ashes, the pulse of the sopranos slows, while the recorder maintains the rhythmic riffs, now in time with the human heart. Rhythm Herd was commissioned by Philomel and first performed by them on 24 November 2018.
Audio clip: Live recording