The Marais Project’s next concert, The Art of Monody takes its name from a new work written for the ensemble by Gordon Kerry, titled Christchurch Monody.
Monody is a style of accompanied song made up of a solo vocal line, which is often embellished, and which has simple harmonies. Monody was popular in Italy from around 1600, as a response to the rich contrapuntal style of 16th-century vocal styles like the madrigal and motet. In the manner of ancient Greek music, there was emphasis on articulation and interpretation. It was thought that this style could only be achieved by abandoning counterpoint and replacing with a much simpler style of accompanied recitative.
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.” Also on the 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