Blue Spiders is based on a poem of the same name by the South African/Australian poet Don Rowley.
The work does not set the whole of the poem, but rather takes an evocative fragment of it while reflecting elements that were cut from the text in the music itself. For example, the section “I am thick against you, full of ire” appears as the stabbing chords which occasionally break up the more fluid motion of the rest of the piece, in both vocal parts and accompaniment.
Blue Spiders was written for The Peacock Ensemble and will be premiered by them at Blackheath Halls in September 2013.
by Don Rowley
My blue spiders, spinning silk so fine,
Invisible filaments among flowers.
Cluster of gems, blue, azure, sapphirine,
You spin and spin.Your webs tremble with tears. I wonder at you and your desire
As still you spin and lie in wait for hours.
Oh how your gorgeous bodies glow and shine,
Each one unique, each swinging with its peers!
I am thick against you, full of ire,
Yet weak. You cast your webs about those towers
I raised. They fell. They were no longer mine,
Each tower a shell moved now with shadow-fears.
Spiders like gems, blue, azure, sapphirine.