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Music on the Mind

Music on the Mind
Music on the Mind
Harvey Brough - MUSIC ON THE MIND - Research Output

Libretto by Justin Butcher, commissioned by Vox Holloway, London MUSIC ON THE MIND has been performed twice, once in London in November 2015 and once in Southampton, December 2016. Both performances featured the Britten Sinfonia, professional soloists Clara Sanabras and Nicholas Garrett, directed by the composer

In London these forces were joined by the 110 strong Vox Holloway Community Choir and the 20 singers of the Mind and Soul choir (based at the Maudesley Hospital and consisting of service users, staff and their families).

In Southampton, they were joined by the University of Southampton Voices (the university community choir) and a specially formed group of local service users, health workers and their familes and friends) - Mind and Soul II choir, which had 20 members.


The London performance raised funds for two charities - Islington Mind and the Soundwell Music therapy charity. The Southampton concert raised funds for Mind Southampton. Equally important though is the impact of the piece in encouraging openness and discussion about mental health issues, a subject that is still considered difficult or even taboo.

“The phrase 'mental health' is such a tricky one to hear or to use without feeling somehow downcast. Why? We're perfectly happy to bang on about our sore backs or our stressed out neck and shoulder areas. We all have physical health and we all have mental health. Sometimes they're in good nick and sometimes they're not. It's fantastically refreshing to have visionaries like Harvey Brough and Justin Butcher commit their art to an examination of one of our most precious possessions. Our minds.”

Emma Thompson , Vox Holloway patron

The piece consists of two halves - the first section being new settings of poetry from across the ages, about madness - or poetry by people who were thought to be mad in their time.
For instance:
Tom o’ Bedlam (medieval - anonymous) about a famished madman from the Bedlam asylum wandering the streets begging for food and clothing

I am - John Clare’s wonderful poem touching on existential identity

Kubla Khan - Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opium fuelled masterpiece

Mad Girl’s Love Song - Sylvia Plath’s bleakly humorous look at reality

Much madness is divinest sense - Emily Dickinson’s short poem is woven in as a refrain through the first half

The second half is based on Kay Redfield Jamison’s influential book AN UNQUIET MIND, which tells the story of her journey through bipolar disorder (or manic depression, the term she still prefers). Rendered into blank verse by Justin Butcher, this is a roller coaster composition - at times hilariously funny, the next moment shockingly harrowing.


The piece is scored for Mezzo Solo, Baritone solo, chamber ensemble - Cb, Vln, Piano, Harp, Percussion and Trumpet, + two Choirs (Unison and SATB)
Brough, Harvey
b47d81c4-ef1d-4255-8e50-12ecf9b8afe9
Butcher, Justin
e6abaa55-caff-4770-b6a9-20801dfc96b1
Brough, Harvey
b47d81c4-ef1d-4255-8e50-12ecf9b8afe9
Butcher, Justin
e6abaa55-caff-4770-b6a9-20801dfc96b1

Brough, Harvey and Butcher, Justin (2015) Music on the Mind.

Record type: Music Item

Abstract

Harvey Brough - MUSIC ON THE MIND - Research Output

Libretto by Justin Butcher, commissioned by Vox Holloway, London MUSIC ON THE MIND has been performed twice, once in London in November 2015 and once in Southampton, December 2016. Both performances featured the Britten Sinfonia, professional soloists Clara Sanabras and Nicholas Garrett, directed by the composer

In London these forces were joined by the 110 strong Vox Holloway Community Choir and the 20 singers of the Mind and Soul choir (based at the Maudesley Hospital and consisting of service users, staff and their families).

In Southampton, they were joined by the University of Southampton Voices (the university community choir) and a specially formed group of local service users, health workers and their familes and friends) - Mind and Soul II choir, which had 20 members.


The London performance raised funds for two charities - Islington Mind and the Soundwell Music therapy charity. The Southampton concert raised funds for Mind Southampton. Equally important though is the impact of the piece in encouraging openness and discussion about mental health issues, a subject that is still considered difficult or even taboo.

“The phrase 'mental health' is such a tricky one to hear or to use without feeling somehow downcast. Why? We're perfectly happy to bang on about our sore backs or our stressed out neck and shoulder areas. We all have physical health and we all have mental health. Sometimes they're in good nick and sometimes they're not. It's fantastically refreshing to have visionaries like Harvey Brough and Justin Butcher commit their art to an examination of one of our most precious possessions. Our minds.”

Emma Thompson , Vox Holloway patron

The piece consists of two halves - the first section being new settings of poetry from across the ages, about madness - or poetry by people who were thought to be mad in their time.
For instance:
Tom o’ Bedlam (medieval - anonymous) about a famished madman from the Bedlam asylum wandering the streets begging for food and clothing

I am - John Clare’s wonderful poem touching on existential identity

Kubla Khan - Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opium fuelled masterpiece

Mad Girl’s Love Song - Sylvia Plath’s bleakly humorous look at reality

Much madness is divinest sense - Emily Dickinson’s short poem is woven in as a refrain through the first half

The second half is based on Kay Redfield Jamison’s influential book AN UNQUIET MIND, which tells the story of her journey through bipolar disorder (or manic depression, the term she still prefers). Rendered into blank verse by Justin Butcher, this is a roller coaster composition - at times hilariously funny, the next moment shockingly harrowing.


The piece is scored for Mezzo Solo, Baritone solo, chamber ensemble - Cb, Vln, Piano, Harp, Percussion and Trumpet, + two Choirs (Unison and SATB)

Text
MUSIC ON THE MIND - FULL SCORE FINAL
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MUSIC ON THE MIND PROGRAMME
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More information

Published date: 2015

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413703
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413703
PURE UUID: 165a9e7d-83e1-46d5-8984-fadf5af3e089

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 31 Aug 2017 16:31
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 19:53

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Contributors

Composer: Harvey Brough
Other: Justin Butcher

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