Seóirse Bodley - Reservoir Voices (audio recording)

A selection of songs from Seóirse Bodley's latest song cycle on texts by Brendan Kennelly, 'Reservoir Voices', as premiered by Sylvia O'Brien (soprano), Imelda Drumm (mezzo), and Dearbhla Brosnan (piano) at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin on 11 June 2018.

The composer writes about the work:

The Cycle ‘Reservoir Voices’ is my most recent cycle for voice[s] and piano. While at hearing the first song it might appear fairly simple in musical style, in the second song, ‘Shadow’ there are many ways in which the complexity of the writing is apparent. In the first bar of the accompaniment the right hand of the piano shadows the left and together they form the accompaniment. Likewise in the accompaniment where the words are ‘when the branch is still’ the register of the piano does not move. The text moves into bald direct statement with the words ‘never let your shadow madness escape’. Different textures are brought in in some numbers; in the song ‘Mockery’ for instance in quite a number of bars the voice has little or no accompaniment. In the song ‘Whisper’ at the words ‘I never like the way characters are made to rot’ the piano jerks in and out in such a way as almost to negate the vocal utterance to at least some extent.

Such devices as the above give the cycle a strong sense of variety and ensure that it never sticks in one direction. Variety is never far away.

Recording: Benedict Schlepper-Connolly