The Morrison Songbook
February 3, 2011

The Morrison Songbook sets texts by my long time collaborator Blake Morrison. Blake had written a number of poems intended to be set as madrigal texts for my First Book of Madrigals. Thirteen poems were used for that collection using those that were written from the male point of view. For a concert in London (November 2010) I re-wrote seven of these madrigals for tenor (John Potter) and members of my ensemble (James Woodrow, electric guitar; Morgan Goff, viola; Nick Cooper, cello; and myself on double bass). When we performed these songs again in Orléans some two months later, my other singer Anna Maria Friman was with us. She had taken time out from the ensemble when she was pregnant and came back after her twin boys were six months old. I decided to have two of the songs sung by her, which were not specifically male in orientation, and the others by John. These worked quite well and I remembered that, shortly after writing the madrigal poems, Blake had included them in his Selected Poems but alternated the male poems with female one. So I am now adding some of these other poems, for Anna, to give her six songs and John seven. The additional songs will be added later this year



Gavin Bryars