In the Autumn issue of The Reader (35), we spend some time in reflection on the Anglican Cathedral, with an essay on Tracey Emin’s neon installation (pictured on our cover) and an interview with Liverpool-born composer Kenneth Hesketh, who in a wide-ranging interview describes an early acoustical experience in the Cathedral that has stayed alive as an active force in his musical thinking:
‘I used to have to set out the service music on certain nights – usually after evensong. Organist Ian Tracey, I think, was practising and there was no one else in the nave, central space or choir areas. As choristers are wont to do, I ran from the furthest bay of the nave up to the altar experiencing a Doppler effect as I did so due to my relative position to the organ’s sound. A shift in pitch occurred similar to when a police car siren approaches and recedes due to the pitch-waves contracting and enlarging. That moment has stayed with me ever since. I try to play with that kind of sound – active musical figures fighting for clarity against a heightened acoustical resonance, the music bathing in a reverberating, embryonic fluid.
It sounds mysterious and rich and large. But please, don’t be satisfied with words alone. Follow these links to explore Kenneth Hesketh’s music.
Here are a number of pieces that might be of interest in light of the article:
There are also a few more things at this address: