In 2021, Stuart MacRae heard a recorded performance by mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean of The Lif of this World, his 2008 setting of an anonymous Middle English lyric. Entranced by the way she shaped its phrases and ornamentation, he immediately began to conceive new works for her voice, solo or lightly accompanied, as well as to bring to completion several other works-in-progress.
This extraordinary flurry of activity – eight vocal works completed in less than two years – is captured here, and reveals the extent to which MacRae’s recent music has expanded to embrace folk-like simplicity alongside the modernist techniques of his earlier work. Similar qualities are found in two works for the violin-and-cello duo Sequoia, while MacRae himself appears on harmonium and contributes electronics to two of the vocal solos. 

Session Photography and Videography by Will Coates-Gibson / foxbrush

St Cuthbert's Church, Edinburgh 8-10 November 2022
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