Out of the ether, into existence. The initial point. The beginning. The ever-recurring origin. Between minimalism and picturesque arias arise light, time, and all life.
In Origins, the female vocal ensemble, Sjaella, focuses on natural cycles that have surrounded us since the dawn of time. In every era, people have experienced the changes in the seasons, the gentle rhythm of day and night, the individual flow of the body, and the transience of rebirth. All of these themes are presented as a unit, which forms a cycle of key concepts from the origin of life to a post-apocalyptic vacuum.
The music contrasts and unites new arrangements of English songs from the 17th Century, such as from Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, with contemporary pieces, including those in the American Minimalist style, such as David Lang’s Evening, Morning, Day. By including mainly commissioned works, the concert program shows Sjaella’s close collaboration with renowned international composers such as Paola Prestini, singer and songwriter Shara Nova, and former King’s Singers member, Philip Lawson.