05 Oct 2016

Wednesday 05 October 2016

A festival choir of more than 300 singers will perform music teacher Chris Artley’s newly commissioned work Language of Stones in October at Sing Aotearoa - New Zealand’s National Choral Festival.

The lyrics for Artley’s beautifully crafted a cappella composition have been written by Auckland poet Robina Adamson and the performance of Language of Stones will be conducted by international conductor Ben Parry, Director of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.

Chris Artley

Chris Artley

Artley, who was chosen as Guest Composer for this year’s festival in Rotorua, says it’s a great honour to be invited.

“I was asked to write a piece with a New Zealand theme that could be sung by the massed festival choir in an outdoor setting. My first port of call was to look through a selection of New Zealand poetry and was delighted to find a poem entitled 'The Language of Stones' by Robina Adamson, who happens to live just a few streets from me in Mangere Bridge.”

“Robina’s evocative words proved to be a great starting point for my a cappella composition. I am very much looking forward to hearing The Language of Stones performed in Rotorua and Te Puia over Labour weekend.”

Hearing his newly composed work performed by hundreds of singers is not Artley’s only honour in October. At the end of the month, the Auckland Choral Society will be performing his composition ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ at Auckland’s Town Hall. 

Artley is one of New Zealand’s leading choral composers and his works have been performed around the world including by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Graduate Choir of New Zealand, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Amadeus Choir of Toronto, Lutheran Youth Choir of North America, Metropolitan Chorus of Tokyo, National University of Singapore Choir and Age of Discovery, Auckland.

Further information can be found here.

Read the New Zealand Choral Federation's article on the music of Chris Artley here.