It Was Not Death

In It Was Not Death, the singer is thinking aloud, but increasingly bothered by a sound incessantly shadowing her. The marimba is a constant presence beneath the murmuring voice, sometimes disrupting it, sometimes joining it. A poem by Emily Dickinson provides the text.

It was not Death, for I stood up, And all the Dead, lie down –
It was not Night, for all the Bells Put out their Tongues, for Noon.

It was not Frost, for on my Flesh I felt Siroccos – crawl –
Nor Fire – for just my marble feet Could keep a Chancel, cool –

And yet, it tasted, like them all, The Figures I have seen
Set orderly, for Burial Reminded me, of mine –

As if my life were shaven,
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key, And ’twas like Midnight, some –

When everything that ticked – has stopped – And space stares – all around –
Or Grisly frosts – first Autumn morns, Repeal the Beating Ground –

But most, like Chaos – Stopless – cool – Without a Chance, or spar –
Or even a Report of Land –
To justify – Despair.

Martin Scheuregger
is a composer based in Lincoln. His compositions are grounded in ideas of fragmentation and miniaturisation, a trait that can manifests itself in fragile and delicate soundworlds, but can equally create more intense large-scale works.

His music has been performed in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Germany and Holland, and in 2015 a new work was premiered at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, supported by Sound and Music. His music has been recorded by Dark Inventions and Percussing, and published by University of York Music Press. Works have received performances by Orkest de Ereprijs, Dark Inventions, Kreutzer Quartet, The 24, Richard Casey, Stef Conner, Chimera Ensemble, Stranded Ensemble, University of York Chamber Orchestra, and others. He became the first Embedded Composer-in-Residence at the British Music Collection in 2014 since when he has collaborated with a variety of venues and organisations in the promotion of new music.

Martin is Lecturer in Music at the University of Lincoln and Artistic Director of contemporary music group Dark Inventions.