Choristers from St Mary’s Church in Nottingham’s Lace Market feature on a new single by musical collective BE.
BE – the musical collective behind the critically acclaimed album ONE, which was inspired by Wolfgang Butress’ installation The Hive at Kew Gardens – release a new single on Monday 19 September called Blue Lullaby.
Released on the innovative Caught By the River’s Rivertones label Blue Lullaby was initially inspired by the melody and theme of the Coventry Carol and features choristers from St Mary’s Church, Nottingham.
The single gets an exclusive airing on Mary Anne Hobbs’ show on BBC 6 Music on Sunday 17 September and will be available for download on iTunes next week.
Ten members of St Marys Choir recorded vocal parts which take their inspiration from idea of the ‘slaughter of the innocents’ – King Herod’s desire to massacre every male infant in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Jesus – and the haunting melody of the 16th Century “Coventry Carol”. The melody has been substantially developed into a track which is now unique to BE.
The collaboration between BE and St Mary’s Choir came about thanks to Wolfgang Buttress’ admiration for the quality of the church’s musicianship. Under the direction of John Keys (official organist for the City of Nottingham), the choir has developed a reputation as one of the finest adult parish church choirs in the region. It comprises a core group of local singers which is supplemented by choral scholars from Nottingham’s universities. A number of former choristers have gone on to music college and forged careers as professional singers. The choir is one of very few outside London to have been invited to sing Sunday services at St Paul’s Cathedral. In recent years it has toured Italy, and sung New Year’s Eve concerts in Germany.
John Keys says: “Week in week out we perform music spanning 500 years of liturgical composition. So I was delighted when Wolfgang asked if we would consider being part of a new project. It’s a fantastic collaboration and demonstrates the depth of creativity in Nottingham and the willingness of people who take their creative inspiration from varying reference points to work together.”
BE’s album One, which featured in The Guardians ‘Best Albums of 2016 so far’ in June, was inspired by Nottingham-based artist Wolfgang Buttress’ multi award-winning sculpture The Hive at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Such was its success, that BE were invited to perform at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. The new single builds on the immersive soundscape style which has won over audiences and critics alike.
A live performance of One will be performed at St Mary’s Church, Nottingham on the 16th and 17th December 2016. This concert features the new single and St Mary’s Choir.