Session 1: The Word transforming
The composer James MacMillan and the poet Michael Symmons Roberts
Thursday 29 October
Location: St Faith's Chapel, St Paul's Cathedral
This sacrament of transformation in which bread, wine and people are changed and put to new purposes has also inspired artists of all kinds. In particular, the words of the eucharistic rite have been transformed into a variety of musical forms. They have also inspired poetry and prayer. What changes when the words are ‘translated’ into a new medium? How do contemporary poets and composers find inspiration in the eucharist? And does this indicate that there is something about artistic creativity itself that has analogies with the eucharist: the processes by which ordinary things become graced; by which the divine depth or excess in material creation is opened up for our new appreciation?
James MacMillan CBE is one of today’s most successful living composers and is also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is profoundly shaped by his Christian faith, his social conscience and his Scottish heritage, and blends Celtic, Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music with a classical Western tradition running from Victoria through Bach to Wagner and Messiaen. He has written several Mass settings, including one for children which is used in churches all over the world every week. www.intermusica.co.uk/macmillan.
Michael Symmons Roberts is an award-winning poet, novelist, librettist and dramatist. His works include the recent collection of poetry Corpus, and the BBC1 film Miracle on the Estate, screened on Good Friday 2008, which won the Premier Prize for Television at the Sandford St Martin Awards in June this year. He has collaborated on a number of occasions with James MacMillan. www.symmonsroberts.com.
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