Update March 2020
The Isolation Songbook CD is finally out! I am so incredibly proud of mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, baritone Michael Craddock, and pianist Alexander Soares for their huge achievement: recording 15 brand new songs inspired by the last 12 months of lockdown.
"Some of the songs are settings of new poems; other poems are already known... Derri Joseph Lewis conjures a miniature out of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge’s A Moment..."
I am incredibly grateful that my duet, 'A Moment' with words by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, is featured alongside composers Héloïse Werner, Nathan James Dearden, and Kerensa Briggs, to name but a few.
"From Helen’s father Terence Charlston to 23-year-old Derri Joseph Lewis, the 18 composers included each offer a personal response to lockdown, and in doing so reflect the different ways humanity deals with a difficult situation..."
And how thrilling to be featured in Presto's 'New Release Round-Up' March 26th 2021 list, Gramophone Magazine's 'What impact has lockdown had on musical creativity?' written by Jack Pepper, the Guardian's 'Classical home listening: the fruits of lockdown' written by Fiona Maddocks, and 'A musical microcosm of 2020' on Planet Hugill (****).
"Derri Joseph Lewis sets Mary Elizabeth Coleridge for A Moment, a thoughtful duet with a sparing use of piano."
- Robert Hugill, writing for Planet Hugill (4 star review)
Update January 2020:
I am so delighted that the Isolation Songbook featuring my A Moment has been recorded by Helen Charlston (mezzo), Michael Craddock (baritone) and Alexander Soares (piano) in Edinburgh's beautiful Queen's Hall with Delphian Records.
The CD will be released 26th March 2021, one year after the UK's first lockdown which initially inspired the project.
From July 2020
On 29th July 1800 GMT Helen Charlston (mezzo), Michael Craddock (baritone) and Alexander Soares (piano) will premiere 15 brand new pieces as part of the City Music Foundation's summer concert series, this year held digitally from St Pancras Clocktower.
"I was so excited to read about the Isolation Songbook - spawned from a tragic story of cancelled performances and a desire to sing again, I was touched by your passion to celebrate chaos and change as a force of necessary good.
Writing in isolation has its ups and downs - as a composer a lot of my creative process is a kind-of ‘forced isolation’ in the hope that what follows will be a social collaboration, but remaining socially distanced in the same four walls whilst trying to create art that isn’t bleak and formless has certainly been a challenge.
I was inspired by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge’s text, A Moment, because it captures a tender scene that isn’t possible in our current strange circumstances; the poem is curiously structured in two seemingly unrelated stanzas, which seemed like the perfect starting point for a duet."