by Phoebe Churches
It is practically impossible to experience a fully and flawlessly orchestrated choral experience in the acoustics of a cathedral without feeling profoundly moved. Whenever I go to enjoy live music I immediately wonder why I don’t do it more often. The actual vibration of musical notes in the chest, the tingle down the spine and the hairs on the back of the head which feel the notes, even as the orchestra tunes up in that discordant way just before the conductor taps on their music stand.
BottledSnail’s Habeas Chorus and the Melbourne Lawyers Orchestra (Lawchestra) along with the Monash University Choral Society did not disappoint. The evening started with the fantastic premiere of Last Verses, a work by Australian composer Dan Walker. Last Verses consists of the last poems of Thomas Hardy, Ralph Waldo Emerson (whose poem Terminus gives its title to the performance), Robert Herrick, Elinor Wylie and D.H. Lawrence. It is a wonderfully life affirming celebration of mortality. At once fresh and traditional. I am not sure whether it will be released anywhere else, so if you missed this concert, look out for a further opportunity to catch it live.
The second half of the show featured W.A. Mozart’s last piece – Requiem. It is fruitless to attempt to reduce the experience of Requiem in the beautiful acoustics of St Paul’s Melbourne to words on a page. It was magnificent.
BottledSnail is a great outfit. They donate a substantial amount of their profits annually to the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation, whose aim is to improve the mental health of lawyers.
Terminus is a celebration of life, as Dan Walker says ‘rallying against the idea of death, but not necessarily the idea of dying’.
If you missed it, this short clip will give you the idea.