A Single Thorn

(Meg Freer)

Year: 2022

Instrumentation: mezzo soprano, 4 horns in F, string orchestra

Duration: 23 minutes

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Program Notes

This music was composed as the war in Ukraine continued to rage through a second long month. My thoughts kept returning to the fact that although the world may have turned its attention to the war, impending environmental catastrophe forgotten, climate change was not simply going to come to a halt, waiting for humanity to remember that we needed to act if we are to mitigate the disaster that looms ahead.

The Canadian poet Meg Freer had sent me a number of poems about a year previously, which I had saved waiting for their time to come. With these thoughts in mind, the time seemed right at last. Re-reading them a year later, they echoed my thoughts, beautifully expressing the inseverable connection between our inner world of thoughts and feelings and the world without, the natural world – a world with which we are inextricably linked. A connection which we sever at our own peril.


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