Sea Love – Richard Barnard



Charlotte Mew is one of the most interesting poets of her era. This short, arresting poem is written in an English folk dialect. I wanted to compose a setting that sounded like a forgotten, timeless folk melody, but with the craft and contemporary techniques to explore the poem’s emotional depths. It is a meditation on time, love and nostalgia set against images of nature from the vast scale of ocean tides to the minute detail of a breeze on one’s skin. The spatial interplay between the singers depicts this movement of sea and tides.
Sea Love was shortlisted for the 2023 VOCES8 Composition Competition.

“Sea Love drew commendation across the board for its assured technique and sensitive word-setting. In particular I thought the writing showed admirable restraint which gave the whole piece a great sense of clarity.” Chris Moore, VOCES8

“The composition had a confidence about it which was particularly evident in the way the texture of the music was carefully crafted. The use of double choir was well handled.” VOCES8 Judging Panel

Unaccompanied choir (SSAATTBB)