Emily Doolittle’s Conversation, a setting for soprano and ensemble of Eleonore Schönmaier’s haunting poem of the same name will be debuted on February 21 in Scotland as part of Music Planet’s programming with the St Andrews New Music Ensemble. “Schönmaier’s poem explores what Doolittle describes as a ‘slightly uncanny sympathy between humans and grey seals’. Humans are musical creatures. Sounds are so important to how we communicate and how we create that we are naturally drawn to the sounds other animals make, especially when we perceive those sounds as music. Marine mammals are especially musical — underwater, visibility is poor, but sound travels far. Grey seals are particularly captivating because their voiceboxes are the closest to ours of any other animal.” Emily Doolittle’s Conversation was commissioned by Bede Williams with funds from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
For a taster of what’s to come you can listen to another Doolittle work also based on a Schönmaier poem “Migration.”