Path of Miracles - Boston
March 30, 2014
Unrestricted by genre, Joby Talbot (b. 1971) has composed classical and concert works; scores for film and television; and undertaken collaborations with major contemporary choreographers, as well as with internationally acclaimed pop musicians. Screen credits include cult television comedy series The League of Gentlemen, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow with director Garth Jennings.
Path of Miracles, for a cappella choir, was composed in 2005. The work is based on the great Pilgrimage to Santiago. The four movements are titled with the names of the four main staging posts of the “Camino Frances,” which Talbot visited in preparation for the composition: they represent the convergence of the roads leading from France at Roncesvalles, the cathedral cities of Burgos and León, and Santiago de Compostela itself.
The hour-long work uses texts from the Codex Callistinus, other Galician texts, and the work of Robert Dickinson. The libretto makes use of several languages and is written in seventeen separate vocal parts, with occasional crotales (small, pitched cymbals). It emphasizes both the physical and spiritual progress of the pilgrim, referring to the multitude of stories of saints, miracles, and traditions associated with the route. It evokes shrines to pilgrim-martyrs, ancient hospices, the pilgrim’s passport, and the symbolic burning of a piece of clothing at Finisterre (the world’s end) to symbolize renunciation of the pilgrim’s old life.
We invite modern pilgrims of all faiths to join us on this extraordinary journey in two magnificent sacred spaces in the area.
Joby Talbot: Path of Miracles (New England Premiere)