Kim Porter

As a postgraduate composer at Manchester University Kim wrote music for the drama department’s productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Büchner’s Woyzeck, The House of Bernarda Alba by Lorca and composed the score for an Open University BBC TV programme about melodrama.

She joined the BBC Singers as an alto and was commissioned by the BBC to write a cantata, The Ballad Of Bethnal Green, for the Singers and school choirs in the East End of London.

Whilst a member of The Sixteen, ORA and singing regularly with the Gabrieli Consort and other vocal ensembles, Kim continues to write music.
Recent commissions include two songs, Moonlight and Star, for Kings Junior Voices in Cambridge and a carol, Christmas Bringeth Jesus, for The Tower of London Chapel choir, premiered in December 2016.

I’m not at all systematic. Ideas come sometimes quickly or more often, very slowly. If I’m setting a text, the colour of the piece is clear to me usually very early on. Writing music for theatre productions is something I’ve loved doing. The music affects the drama in ways you can’t imagine until it happens and actors respond to it without really realising they’re doing so...

From quite a young age I used to write songs which I inflicted on my relatives for their birthdays and anniversaries, often setting beautiful poems written by my grandfather. I wrote a carol while I was at school, which I entered for the Nationwide TV Carol Contest. It sunk without trace unfortunately, but I remember my mum trying to record me singing it in the kitchen of our farm with three of my friends.  We got terrible giggles, the crosser she got the more we laughed. It took us hours!
— Kim Porter
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Pulchra es et decora

A reflection on the plainchant antiphon, Pulchra es et decora

Setting this antiphon's strikingly dichotomous text for ORA has been an interesting project. The piece seeks to reflect the warmth and rich beauty of the Daughter of Jerusalem, then moves on to represent her combativeness and unyielding hate of evil with stronger harmonic and rhythmic material. Most of the music springs from shapes and groupings within the plainchant. The Filia Jerusalem phrase recurs throughout and concludes the piece aiming to draw the two parts of the text together: her great good with her unwavering fight against that which opposes the glory of God. It has been lovely to imagine the beautiful voices of my colleagues in ORA whilst composing this piece.

WORLD PREMIERE: 23rd February 2018, #Renaissance- Mercy, Cheltenham College Chapel