"I splurge ideas, working from the words if I’m setting a text. This usually involves sketching and doodling and making pretty plans on paper. Then it’s a mix of singing and improvising parts into Logic, refining them as I go, handwriting everything and finally whacking it on Sibelius. I work best in the mornings, and womanfully try and keep the internet off until lunchtime."
ARCHBISHOP PARKER'S PSALME 150
I broke my own self-imposed rule of never writing music about music for this piece! But Archbishop Parker’s translation of Psalm 150 was a fun one to set, the text invoking a robust and slightly chaotic sense of religious cheer. There are mentions of recorders, cymbals, tambourine (tymbrell), lute, harp and trumpets all blaring away. The song is in basic verse form which begins to be pulled apart by the choir, all the while aiming to retain a feel of rowdy celebration. The setting is in the ‘vulgar tongue’ (eg that dreadfully uncouth Middle English) and has quite a peculiar form that I tried to reflect in the musical rhythm. I do imagine that this is sung by slightly drunken 16th-century peasants, happy to be singing in their own language.
Kerry Andrew is a composer, performer and writer based in London. She has won three British Composer Awards, in the Making Music, Stage Works and Education and Community Categories, and has been shortlisted for three more. She has a PhD in Composition from the University of York, was Handel House Museum's Composer in Residence in 2010-12, has created large-scale community-based pieces for the likes of Art On The Underground, the Landmark Trust, Wigmore Hall and the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. She sings with the award-winning experimental vocal trio, juice, with jazz sextet Metamorphic and quintet DOLLYman, and as alt-folk soloist You Are Wolf released her debut solo album in 2014. She has written her first novel, and occasionally writes and presents for BBC Radio 3, the Guardian and Sinfini Music.