Simon Austin composer

Works   ❯  Choral   ❯  In the Night-time of the Year

In the Night-time of the Year

SATB SST Soli, Tuned percussion and cello | 1994

first performance The Sussex Cantorum, Worth Abbey
Christine Armstrong, Jacqui Tilt, Andy Jacques, Colin Rowton, Brian Donovan

Text: Nick Nye
1. The hills still stand That shadow all the land And never falter...
2. In the night-time of the year We dropped into the valley And shook off the frozen heights...
3. Mother, is it time to eat? Hush, my child...

In the Night-Time of the Year concerns the Balkan conflict in the early 1990s.
The opening section poses the notion that, however we behave within the conflict ensuing, the world will remain and carry on regardless of our human emotional changes resulting from it. The second describes the soldiers landing behind the enemy lines, marching on to discover an ordinary family going about their business. It was their word for 'Welcome' that was wrong, so they had to be killed, with a rather macabre reference to the soldiers sitting down to eat a meal the mother had just cooked. The final section has mother and daughter beyond death referring back to what had just taken place, ending with a reference back to the first section.
The cello acts as a continuo line with the vibraphone and marimba adding colour as an obbligato part.