At the last pause in our story, I had just received Michael Redhill‘s gorgeous and inspiring poetry—the “words” half of our collaboration. At the time, I was just wrapping up another commission, and about to dive into the process of creating the “music” half.
In most every commission, I know who I’m writing for. It’s important that I have a good understanding of the performers so that I can write something that shows them off well, that highlights their strengths, and that really suits them. I want each new piece to be something the performers can truly embrace. This is especially true in chamber music and concertos, where the music is solo or soloistic. I’d heard Nordic Voices in concert, and listened to their CDs, but I didn’t really know them.
As each step of Scar Tissue unfolded, it truly felt like the universe was on our side and this was all meant to be. For what should happen just before I was about to start writing the music, than Nordic Voices was doing a mini-tour in the States, and would have a day off in Portland, Oregon. A mere hop, skip and jump from my home in Vancouver! So, I got on a plane in the morning that day and made my way to downtown Portland.
Then we bonded over lunch (with US-sized portions, of course). (Did I mention these six are The Nicest People?) It was a great start to the hard work of our collaboration and exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I knew that as I composed, I would hear their voices singing it.
By early evening, I was back home in Vancouver. It was the best use of a day ever.
Next, the grunt work…
*And I found it. Come to the concert and hear it!