Kerry Andrew

Fruit Songs

for mezzo-soprano and guitar

duration: 12 minutes

fruit songs
I mango
II plum
III blackberry
IV cherry
V apple

fruit songs were written in 2000/2001 for the mezzo-sop Sarah Dacey and guitarist Juan Pablo Correa. I intended to write a set of 1-2 min. miniatures that were sultry, ambiguously exotic and quirky in character. And about fruit!

I never treat a poem as a 'straight' setting: 'mango' is fairly schizophrenic in nature, with sections of percussive phonetics interspersed with sung chunks of the whole text. 'plum' is simpler, only picking out 'forgive me' as a refrain. In 'blackberry', I chose an 11-note row, with 1 quaver pitch to a syllable, which is then deconsructed. 'cherry' examines a range of extra-vocal techniques using only the word 'Oh!', and has a more theatrical interplay between singer and guitarist. For 'apple', I stripped down the Drinkwater poem to what I saw as its essentials. Particular musical influences for these songs include Björk, Meredith Monk, Sheila Chandra, English folk, Japanese, West African and Indian music.

The piece was also arranged for Black Hair's chamber ensemble.

Kerry Andrew is currently in the 2nd year of a part-time PhD at the University of York with Roger Marsh, whilst teaching music full-time at the BRIT School of Performing Arts and Technology in South London. She won the Temple Church Choir Composition Competition 2002 and was one of four participants in Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival’s Young Composer’s Workshop in 2001. Psappha, Black Hair and the Hilliard Ensemble have all been recent performers of her work.

She is also a member of the newly-founded vocal ensemble ‘juice’ who are committed to expanding the contemporary female vocal repertoire.


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