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News

Piers

Connor

Kennedy

five flowers

On March 6th, Piers' song-cycle five flowers received its premiere at Wigmore Hall. The piece was co-commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and Wigmore Hall for counter-tenor Hugh Cutting, harpist Tara Viscardi and violist Leo Appel.

The cycle comprises five settings of poems about Time by Alice OswaldRobert Graves, E E Cummings and Stephen Romer.

five flowers

Wigmore Hall, May 2024

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Nowel el el

Nowel el el

Ensemble Pro Victoria, March 2024

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In December 2023, Ensemble Pro Victoria and harpist Cecily Beer gave the premiere of Piers' commission Nowel el el - a companion piece to Britten's A Ceremony of Carols for lower voices and harp.

The piece, comprising twelve movements setting Medieval Christmas texts, was recorded in March 2024 with Delphian for release in December on the album Advent Calendar.

Listen to Piers'  Advent Calendar, the title track of the same album, on Spotify here.

crow

In January 2023, Piers' song-cycle Crow, written for counter-tenor Hugh Cutting, the Linarol Consort of Viols, and clavichord (played by Piers), received its première performance in St Peter's College Chapel, Oxford.

 

The work was hand-drawn into six partbooks by six independent artists in collaboration with Piers, celebrating the de-centralised authority of the Collective and relishing the possibilities for idiosyncrasy and improvisation.

Traces

SANSARA, February 2023

Blessed are the peacemakers

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In October 2022, SANSARA recorded the album Traces, including Piers' motet Blessed are the peacemakers, originally commissioned for the Edington Music Festival 2017. The album was released in February 2023 under Apple Music's Platoon label.

Album artwork by Masha Krivopishina.

Listen to the single here.

A wreath

In July 2022, Christ Church Cathedral Choir Oxford made a full album recording of Piers' music, featuring a range of choral pieces written over the last few years including A Wreath, commissioned by Worcester Cathedral in 2019. The album is due for release in 2024.

A Wreath

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Oxford,

July 2022

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Dante

In November 2021, Piers collaborated for the second time with videographer Rowan Ireland to create Spesse fiate - a work commissioned by TORCH for the 'Dante After Hours: Heaven and Hell' exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum Oxford, marking the 700th anniversary of Dante's death. The work features a translation written by Rowan.

Emmanuel Downtown

In September 2020, Piers was commissioned to write two pieces for solo voice and organ for Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore MA.

The first, Praise of Creation, sets the poetry of George Moses Horton (1798–1884), an enslaved African-American poet known as the “Black Bard of North Carolina.”

The second, A Grain of Sand, sets the poetry of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825–1911), a Baltimore-born abolitionist, suffragist, and poet — and one of the first African-American women to have her works published in the United States.

Organ Christian Lane - Baritone Edmund Milly - Mezzo-soprano Sylvia Leith.

A short story of falling

In the Summer of 2020, Andrew Nethsingha of The Choir of St John's College Cambridge commissioned from Piers a setting of A short story of falling, from Alice Oswald's collection Falling Awake. Written for solo chorister and piano, it was designed to suit the remote recording conditions during lockdown.

It is a beautiful text about the cycles of water and how they may inform the ways we live.

The remote recording and other works can be found here. 

A short story of falling

St John's College, Cambridge

June 2020

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crescid

A collaboration between Piers and videographer Rowan IrelandCrescid won 1st prize in the EMPRES Award 2020 Sound Art category and was premiered in November via Modern Art Oxford's YouTube channel. 

Check out more of Rowan's work here.

Les voix humaines

Commissioned by SANSARA in collaboration with Liam Byrne, Piers has been writing music for choir and viola da gamba, based on Marin Marais' 1701 work Les Voix Humaines. Originally scheduled for performance in May 2020, this project was transformed into a series of remotely-recorded virtual workshops.

More information and videos can be found on Sansara's website.

christ church / Lockdown

House Canticles

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Oxford, July 2020

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Commissioned by Christ Church Cathedral Oxford, Piers' settings of Psalm 137 and of the Evening Canticles were broadcast online on Sunday 5th July 2020. Composed and recorded entirely during lockdown, these pieces celebrate the ways in which music and worship brings people together in spirit.

Listen to these and other works here.

Mayflower

Commissioned by The King's School Worcester, and performed by over 300 primary school children, Piers' hour-long cantata Mayflower was given its premiere in November 2019 in Worcester Cathedral. The concert launched a year of celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the Ship's crossing from Plymouth to America and the first Thanksgiving. Piers' music and lyrics are interspersed with dramatic readings by Stephen Le Marchant.

A full recording can be found on Soundcloud here

Mayflower

The King's School Worcester,

November 2019

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