Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 July, 2015
New Diorama Theatre, 15-16 Triton Street, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3BF
“CROSSING DARTMOOR started with a request from Devon-‐born singer Simon Oliver Marsh for a song-‐cycle about Dartmoor. Rather than simply setting poems about the moor, I wanted to create a work that encapsulated the experience of being in that landscape, and realised that the Dartmoor textworks of Richard Long were exactly what I was looking for. Research into Long’s creative practice has been an essential part of the piece’s development and has been an important influence on the music itself. It led me towards using elements directly related to the moor: for example, using place names and maps to create pitch material, incorporating audio and video recordings made on Dartmoor into the work and supplementing the notated scores of the pieces with photographs, maps and wisps of sheep’s wool to bring the moor to life for the performers” – Caitlin Rowley.
CROSSING DARTMOOR is a song-‐cycle for tenor and piano on texts by the eminent British artist Richard Long. The cycle explores the experience of walking on Dartmoor, and is designed to be flexible in format, allowing performers to select their own ‘path’ through the material, as a walker would choose their route across the moor. Performers choose from field recordings, text scores, conventionally notated songs and video elements to create their version, with a minimum of five pieces needed to constitute a ‘complete’ performance of thework. A work in progress, CROSSING DARTMOOR currently comprises about eighty minutes of material, from which we have developed a half-‐hour version for Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival. While essentially non-‐narrative, the cycle addresses a number of themes, including the passage of time, cartography, visual representation of landscape, and sounds of place.