The Crossing

A Native Hill (2018-19)

Having worked with The Crossing for a few years and following the success of our previous collaboration The Fifth Century, I have written a substantial a cappella work as a gift to the choir that sets extracts from Wendell Berry’s essay of the same title. While his descriptions of the minutiae of his rural existence have a profound metaphysical and even political force, his visionary prose also has something of the mysticism of my previous work with The Crossing when I set Thomas Traherne. I worked on it with a care and scrutiny beyond anything I have done before. I did not set myself a specific deadline, and the result of this was that the energy I would normally have put into speed of writing was diverted into detail and concentration.

Quite coincidentally I finished the piece on August 29th, 2019, the day my granddaughter Cassia was born. I had worked on it, on and off, for nine months – the whole period of the pregnancy – and her father, my daughter Orlanda’s partner Julian, died suddenly halfway through. It is dedicated to Cassia, in memoriam Julian.

The Crossing with GB Oct 9 2019

Steve Bradshaw, solo tenor, part 4 The Pool

Gavin Bryars