The videos will feature twelve new commissions from twelve of the UK’s most exciting young composers, drawing their texts from the well-known song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. The Consort came together earlier this month at St James Church Sussex Gardens to record and film the twelve new pieces, each of which is a 30-second miniature for a choir of twelve voices.
The new works cover a broad range of styles and moods, ranging from tranquil chordal writing to frenetic festive energy, including some graphic scoring, aleatoric writing, jazz influences, and a great deal of rhythmic intricacy — all of which showcases the Consort’s great versatility and enthusiastic approach to new music.
The series begins at 12 noon on Christmas Day, with one video being released every day until 5th January. The Consort will also release a bonus video on 6th January to crown off the series with a beautiful Epiphany carol.
See below for a list of all the newly commissioned works, and more information about all the brilliant young composers involved.
|First day of Christmas | a partridge in a pear tree
Joanna is a composer and performer, interested in experimenting with scores and with sound, centring collaboration, subjectivity, multiplicity and playfulness in her practice.
|Second day of Christmas | turtur
Nathan James Dearden
Described as “a champion of his generation” and whose music is “hauntingly beautiful’ (Media Wales), Nathan James Dearden is an award-winning composer of concert music and mixed media, conductor, and educator.
|Third day of Christmas | The French Hens
Héloïse was recently described by The Times as “quickly becoming a latter-day Cathy Berberian or Meredith Monk”.
|Fourth day of Christmas | Four calling birds
Ella has developed an unorthodox and genre-defying approach to writing and interpreting music, with an unusual musical background as an improvising vocalist.
|Fifth day of Christmas | Five Gold Rings
Anna is a postgraduate student of Composition at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Sylvia Lim and Matthew Kaner, and is interested in exploring embodied methods of music-making and composition using visual processes.
|Sixth day of Christmas | Six Geese a-laying a-lay a-lay a-lay!
Winner of the George Butterworth Award 2020, Alex Ho is a British-Chinese composer based in London.
|Seventh day of Christmas | Seven Swans a-Swimming
Harry Baker is an award-winning pianist and composer passionate about jazz, classical and improvised music.
|Eighth day of Christmas | eight maids a-milking
Carol J Jones
Originally trained as a dancer, Carol J Jones is a composer of choral, chamber and orchestral music.
|Ninth day of Christmas | nine ladies dancing
Ben Nobuto is a British/Japanese composer and pianist from Kent, whose music often explores themes of attention and fragmentation.
|Tenth day of Christmas | Ten Lords A-Leaping
Joe Bates is a composer and curator making music at the edge of genres.
|Eleventh day of Christmas | Eleven Pipers Piping
Derri Joseph Lewis
Derri Joseph Lewis is a prize-winning Welsh composer and sound-artist, writing music for concerts, stage-works and installations in Europe and America.
|Twelfth day of Christmas | Twelve Drummers
Shruthi Rajasekar is a composer and vocalist exploring identity, community, and joy.