Requiem is designed to create the loneliest situation possible: a single performer, whose voice is the only material for the electronic track, relying on only themselves for their own accompaniment.
Written specifically for the delicate, complex and controlled tone of clarinettist and singer Jack McNeill, Requiem requires the soloist to sing the syllables 'so', 'lone' and 'ly', which are fed through a sampler, creating a richly harmonic background. The piece's five main parts refer to the15th-century composer Ockeghem’s Requiem structure and are interspersed with verses of the Irish song She moved through the fair sung by the soloist.
The hour-long solo for bass clarinet with electronic track was commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group for the event Requiem To Let (in collaboration with theatre company Stan’s Cafe) and was first performed on 26th September 2015. Originally composed for performance in an empty shop unit in Birmingham that still held the remains of a business going bankrupt, Requiem To Let was devised as swan-song for the British High Street.
Composer Michael Wolters, whose music has been described as ‘utterly beguiling’ (Tempo) and ‘oddly moving’ (Guardian), creates works that deconstruct and question the traditional concert situation or which are designed for performance outside the concert hall altogether. In 2008 he soundtracked the BBC News live, and in 2012 he made a large-scale performance taking place on and around a German ice rink.
Jack McNeill bass clarinet
Catalogue Number: BRC005
Release Date: 25 October 2019