Nick Cave and Nicholas Lens have confirmed details of a new lockdown opera.
The project is titled 'L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S' and will be released digitally, on CD and vinyl from December 4th.
It's a new move for the Australian songwriter, and it emerged from the open spaces in his scheduled opened up by the pandemic.
Belgian composer Nicholas Lens made contact, and it follows their work on the 2014 anti-war opera Shell Shock.
Lens had begun work on some music, but required some words. He comments...
“The initial idea for L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S was born in the natural silence that rises from the rainy and vivid green forest that surrounds these 13th-century temples. And because my memory works in musical phrases, writing L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S has become my method of remembering the peace I found while visiting Japan as well.”
Lens adds: “I wanted to work with someone who was fresh to the field of opera; someone who was most believable and authentic in the way they would use words. Nick was obviously that person.”
Nick Cave seemingly enjoyed the challenge - even if he had to initially Google what was being required of him.
He states: “Nicholas called me during lockdown and asked if I would write 12 litanies. I happily agreed. The first thing I did after I put down the phone was search ‘What is a litany?’ I learned that a litany was a series of religious petitions, and realised I had been writing litanies all my life.”
Recorded by an 11 strong group of musicians - some of whom were trapped by Belgium by lockdown requirements - 'L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S' evolved during this tumultuous year.
'L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S' will be released on December 4th.
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