I'm delighted to release the recordings of three songs from my new song cycle Woolf Letters. Written for mezzo soprano Siân Cameron and pianist Nicola Rose.
Virginia Woolf wrote many letters throughout her life to her sister, the acclaimed painter Vanessa Bell. Here are three songs from a new song cycle using these incredible letters. They give an intimate insight into one of the most creative minds and famous sibling relationships of the 20th century.
1. 'As A Writer': Woolf frequently used Vanessa's art as a metaphor for her own work. Here she describes the writing process as feeling beauty "which is almost entirely colour", condensing ideas like pouring "a large jug of champagne over a hairpin".
2. 'Nessa and Duncan': A brilliantly teasing letter in which Woolf imagines a scene at Vanessa and Duncan Grant's home as they discuss her recently published novel To The Lighthouse (clearly nervous of their judgement!)
3. 'A Dancing Light': Part of a letter of 1937 written soon after the death of Vanessa's son Julian in the Spanish Civil War.
Recorded by Rhys Maslen at St Augustine's Chapel, Bristol
Developing this first part of the project has been generously supported by Arts Council Wales and Sound and Music.
Texts used with generous permission from the Society of Authors www.societyofauthors.org