Clod Ensemble – Silver Swan

(Turbine Hall, Tate Modern 2013)


More info HERE

Silver Swan is a piece of music for seven unaccompanied female singers, written by Paul Clark. Taking two simple 17th Century songs by John Smith and William Lawes, the piece weaves their melodies into a dense and beautifully haunting texture.

“The music by Paul Clark is achingly divine. Thrilling textures soar high and sweet, or brush against momentary discords.” The Herald

Silver Swan has been presented both as a ‘choreographed concert’ and as a theatre piece featuring additional actors. The piece has been performed in a variety of venues, most recently in the magnificent McEwan Hall as part of the Edinburgh Festival 2005.

“A creation that stands out from the crowd” Three Weeks

Different in each incarnation of performance, theatrically Silver Swan is re-directed to respond to the environment it is performed in. In the magnificent Raphael Room at the V & A Museum, for example, the piece was a poetic take on the music where the singers, dressed in immaculate white dresses, struggle to form a chorus, and sometimes struggle even to keep their balance. In the enormous McEwan Hall, Edinburgh, three actors joined the company and played out a parallel drama amidst the dozens of doorways and balconies as the audience perched high above in the gallery.

“Oddly charming and beautifully sung” The Times

“A truly timeless experience” The Stage

“Surely a contender for best use of space on the fringe” Three Weeks

Silver Swan is performed by a distinguished company of singers who have worked with such prestigious companies as ENO and the London Sinfonietta.

The Silver Swan who living had no note
’till death approached unlocked her silent throat
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore
She sang her first and last and sang no more
Farewell all joys
Death come close my eyes
More geese than swans now live
More fools than wise

Clod Ensemble – Silver Swan - Turbine Hall, Tate Modern