I have always loved horror stories about monsters, space, stars, constellations, particularly through my childhood. I spent lots of my summers on the mountains, at my grandma’s home where, far from light pollution, I stayed hours with her or my friends looking at the immense and disturbing black sky, telling stories about aliens, often having the feeling of being swallowed by the firmament. In Lovecraft’s poem, the vividness of his imagination and its creeping anxiety, mirrored my childhood excitement. In addition the poet provided me with a structure A B A where the latter A had to be the “real” music and activity hidden in the former. The general atmosphere of the whole poem, like memories re-discovered and recollected together, gave me the suggestion to approach it as one of those stories we children frightened each other with.

premiére: David Josefowitz Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, UK, 28 April 2016

instrumentation: mez, cl, bass cl, vla, vc, db

performed by the students of the Royal Academy of Music, London

mezzo-soprano – Lotte Betts-Dean

clarinet – David Mears

bass clarinet – Charles Dale-Harris

viola – Sofia Silva Sousa

cello – Elizabeth Porter

double bass – Raivis Misjuns

conductor – Ben Glassberg