In Place

for singer and ensemble

Colin Riley

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for singer and ensemble

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Composer Colin Riley
Year of Composition 2017
Duration ca.70'
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-cr1ip1


Commissioned by Sound Festival Scotland with funds from the PRS for Music Foundation and the Arts Council of England.

Six newly commissioned texts from Paul Farley, Jackie Morris, Daljit Nagra, Selina Nwulu, Nick Papadimitriou, Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton.

Volume 1:

Weather Words

Half Written Love Letter

Jaan Jalebi

Litanies for the Furness Fells


Volume 2:

Deep Forest

Lost Engines

Warp in the Rain

Beneath, Above, Along

Water Over Stone

In Place is a gathering together of feelings, associations, geographical details,
regional identities, dialects, place names, personal memories, imagined routes, and historical connections. To help in this I have commissioned new texts from a broad range of writers for whom a sense of place is very much at the core of their work. These, along with a scattering of various existing texts, have become the lyrics for the ten songs. In very different ways they have each provoked and challenged me, enabling the piece to be diverse, multi-dimensional and hopefully, unexpected.

Now the set of songs is compete I can see
that in their own way, each brings the past and present together. All the songs contain what can be seen as a kind of spell or chant, through the naming of places, actions or things. As Robert Macfarlane’s ‘Landmarks’ says, ‘Words act as a compass; place-speech serves literally to en-chant the land – to sing it back into being, and to sing one’s being back into it.’

In Place (live) from Colin Riley Music Projects on Vimeo.