The Measure of a Tree – Saffron Walden Choral Society – premiere at Saffron Hall, 19th March

The Measure of a Tree is Janet’s new choral and orchestral piece written for Saffron Walden Choral Society who will give the premiere in Saffron Hall on March 19th 2022. The 30-minute piece explores the pivotal role of trees for all life on earth. It includes settings of poems by Ursula Vaughan Williams, Wendell Berry and Robert Macfarlane as well as texts by the composer, sometimes writing individually and sometimes jointly. One of the poems, Tree, Tree, Tree, was developed in conjunction with writer Katy Fraser and Katy’s daughter Delphine, the young poet who won Blue Peter’s Our Planet Now Competition. Verses of this poem are interspersed between other movements and see the soprano and baritone soloists singing in the roles of Squirrel, Hedgehog and Woodpecker. The work ends with a vigorous setting of Robert Macfarlane’s vehement poem Heartwood, written as a ‘charm against harm’ for all trees, especially the street trees of Sheffield. Janet will conduct the premiere, with Chameleon Arts Orchestra and Grace Davidson (soprano) and Edmund Saddington (baritone).