You might be forgiven for thinking this story got left behind in the annals of last month, but it really is given notice of an exciting new project which will be performed just less than a year from now.
A major new choral work
Steve Banks, a musician and composer living near Totnes, Devon, has composed a major new choral work, Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio, for choir, full orchestra and four solo singers. It is in two parts, lasting about an hour and a half in all. The world premiere is going to be at the Plymouth Guildhall,on February 27, 2021. Steve is assembling the choir (of about 40 to 50 voices) for this exciting, unique performance. It will be a mixture of semi-professional and good amateur choral singers.
Tradition of classical sacred choral works
Steve goes on to write: ‘Blue Pearl follows the tradition of classical sacred choral works such as Handel’s Messiah, and the many wonderful settings of the Catholic Mass and Requiem Mass. Karl Jenkins took a significant new step in his ‘Requiem’ and ‘The Armed Man’, in adding Muslim, Hindu and Japanese texts to traditional Christian texts, introducing a multi-cultural dimension. Blue Pearl takes a major further step in that direction: as the title suggests, it embraces humanity and the earth as a whole – ‘Blue Pearl’ (or ‘Blue Marble’) is what the earth looks like from space. The spirituality it conveys is open to all, from any religious tradition, or none. It is inspired by the ground-breaking ‘Integral’ model of American mystical philosopher, Ken Wilber: a contemporary evolution of the ‘perennial philosophy’.
You can find out more about the piece and about Steve, listen to a demo recording, and read the lyrics and the vocal score here.
‘A superb, exhilarating, magical piece of music…’ Ken Wilber, author of many books, including The Integral Vision
‘A remarkable achievement. The music is, by turns, witty, moving, exciting, and transporting…’ Julian Marshall, composer
‘A wonderfully creative new piece that is consoling, challenging, witty, tuneful and inspiring…’Chris Cullen, Mindfulness trainer and teacher, Oxford Mindfulness Centre
Tonal and melodic
The music is tonal and melodic; the parts are reasonably straightforward, though the piece includes varied styles of music. You can listen to the whole piece, and follow the vocal score here. Rehearsals ware scheduled for Jan and Feb 2021.
I have had very positive feedback from many singers who have listened to the demo recording so far, and three great testimonials to date, which you can read in full on the above web page. The concert promises to be a very exciting, and moving occasion. I will be doing a big publicity campaign to get a big audience in the magnificent Plymouth Guildhall.
If you can help me publicise this call for singers in any way, I would be very grateful’.
Further information and details from Steve.
‘Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio’ takes place at Plymouth Guildhall on Saturday February 27, 2021