for lower voices (TTBB) & piano
Text: English (Euan Tait)
Duration: c3.5 minutes
Composer and lyicist's notes
Flight Song was written as a gift to Dr Anton Armstrong and the St Olaf Choir. I had the pleasure of working with Armstrong and his choir in 2013 and their performance of my piece Even when He is silent was sublime. I was impressed not only by the artistic work, but also the personal development and safe environment Armstrong has given to so many young singers. With this piece I want to show my gratitude for their performances on tours all over Norway and the United States. – Kim André Arnesen
This is the first piece on which Kim and I worked together. I live in a house that overlooks two great British rivers, the Wye and the Severn, and the air is constantly alive with the sound of seabird wings and calls, so when Kim came to me with the idea of writing a piece for these amazing young musicians, the idea of flight as a metaphor for the beginning of a young adult life – and as a tribute to a great conductor – came to me first. A human life preparing to take off, and the movements of a conductor’s arm like the beating of a soul’s great wings, are images at the heart of this piece. – Euan Tait
All we are, we have found in song:
you have drawn this song from us.
Songs of lives unfolding
fly overhead, cry overhead:
longing, rising from the song within.
Moving like the rise and fall of wings,
hands that shape our calling voice
on the edge of answers
you’ve heard our cry, you’ve known our cry:
music’s fierce compassion flows from you.
The night is restless with the sounds we hear,
is broken, shaken by the cries of pain:
for this is music’s inner voice,
saying, yes, we hear you,
all you who cry aloud,
and we will fly, answering you:
so our lives sing, sing,
wild we will fly,
wild in spirit we will fly.
Like a feather falling from the wing,
fragile as a human voice,
alive to love, we sing as love,
yet our flight begins as song.
Kim André Arnesen
Arnesen is one of the most frequently performed composers from Norway today. He grew up in Trondheim where he was a chorister in Nidaros Cathedral, later being educated at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim. With an interest in baroque music, contemporary classical music, and popular music, Kim could have taken many roads, but choral music became his greatest passion. His works have been performed in more than 30 countries around the world. His albums Magnificat (2014) and Infinity (2018) received excellent reviews and reached the top of the iTunes classical charts. He continues to enjoy a busy international schedule of commissions as well as guest appearances at festivals and other choral events. Arnesen has been a house composer at Boosey & Hawkes since 2017.