Ashes Dance Back


choir and electronics
Mixed Voices
Rumi translated by Andrew Harvey Love's Fire and The Way of Passion
elec requirements: CD player/2 E64 digital sampler/5octave keyboard/ZIP cartridge drive/effects processor(Yamaha SPX 990)/4 microphone/mixer/stereo amplifier/4 loudspeakers
Commissioned for the New London Chamber Choir in memory of Judie Campbell, by her husband, Philip
First Performance
27.9.97, Strasbourg Festival, France: New London Chamber Choir/James Wood

Choral score 0-571-56441-0 (fp) on sale, electronics available here.

Programme Notes

Ashes Dance Back was commissioned for the New London Chamber Choir in memory of Judie Campbell, by her husband, Philip. Ashes Dance Back for choir and electronics uses fragments of text from Andrew Harveys translations of Rumi. Rumis poems of the ecstatic dissolution of the self in the elements of nature are reflected in the metaphor of the choir being mixed electronically with wind, fire and finally healing water. Wind is blown through analysis of choral sound, effected by computer, giving a singing wind, and so on. The pitches of the music are based entirely on a new system of compressed spectra; the choir has to pitch microtones, as cued by the electronics. The title derives from this verse of Rumis: I burn away; laugh; my ashes are alive! I die a thousand times: My ashes dance back - A thousand new faces. First performance in Musica Festival, Strasbourg, by New London Chamber Choir, conducted James Wood, September 27th 1997. Jonathan Harvey

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