David Fennessy’s choir work Letter to Michael will be performed today at “Composing the Island: Choirland | 100 years of Irish Choral Music”.
David Fennessy on the piece:
”A few years ago I came across an extraordinary piece of art by a woman named Emma Hauck. She was admitted to a German psychiatric ward about a hundred years ago diagnosed with schizophrenia. Whilst a patient there she produced pages and pages of text – thousands of lines in pencil which were addressed to her husband who had ceased to visit her. She simply wrote the words ‘Sweetheart Come’ [Herzensschatzi komm] over and over again or sometimes just the word ‘come’. Every page is thick with overlapping text and some are so condensed as to be illegible.
I was deeply moved by these repeated pleas and feel strongly that the desperate passion that can be seen on these pages could only really be expressed with voices. I imagine a dense layering of a simple line; each voice adding to the power of the plea…”