Fresh from a successful appearance on Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, and the release of their new recording, Two, The Marais Project launches its 2021 Season with a distinctive pairing of Old World Europe and music from the Australian continent when it presents The Art of Monody, featuring the world premiere of Christchurch Monody by Gordon Kerry.
“Around 1600, Italian composers decided to break free from composing polyphony (music for many voices, often written for the church) and started to write for a single voice with instrumental accompaniment,” Marais Project Artistic Director, Jenny Eriksson commented. “This new style of music was called monody, ‘mono’ meaning one voice. It was the beginning of opera as we know it, but it was also the commencement of the kind of songcraft that developed during the baroque and classical eras and continues to this day.”
The concert’s title also refers to a new work written for the ensemble by Australian composer, Gordon Kerry, titled Christchurch Monody. A setting of texts from the books of Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament, Christchurch Monody was, according to Kerry “A response to several recent appalling acts of violence.” Scheduled to be premiered in 2020, the season was cancelled.
Also on this diverse program is a suite by Marin Marais, arias by the Italian master, Monteverdi as well as two songs by Isaac Nathan, the early 19th century father of Australian music – a quite special coupling. Tommie Andersson’s arrangement for gallichon (bass lute) of pieces from Handel’s The Musical Clock also features as does Llew and Mara Kiek’s version of The Streets of Forbes. Commissioned by Eriksson several years ago, this folksong tells the story of the infamous Australian bushranger, Ben Hall.
The performers: Susie Bishop, voice & violin; Tommie Andersson, lutes; Jenny Eriksson & Cathy Upex, viola da gamba
On April 14 2021, the new Marais Project recording, Two will be released on MOVE Records. Available from MOVE Records, Buywell Music, iTunes, and streaming platforms including Apple Music and Spotify