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Tarik O'Regan

Publisher: Novello & Co

Threshold of Night (2006)
Commissioned by St John's College, Cambridge
Work Notes
Winner of the Liturgical award in the British Composer Awards 2007
Text Writer
Kathleen Raine
Novello & Co Ltd
Chorus a cappella / + 1 instrument
Year Composed
6 Minutes
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Programme Note
Tarik O'Regan Threshold of Night (2006)
Threshold of Night (setting one of Kathleen Raine’s Three Poems of Incarnation) was commissioned by St John’s College, Cambridge and was premièred under the direction of David Hill in the College chapel on 25th November 2006.

Written for Advent, the work aims to highlight the yearning that all societies have, in their time of need, for guidance from beyond their community. By coincidence, however, this composition was completed on the eve of 29th August 2006, one year after Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest in the history of the United States, made landfall in Louisiana. Looking at Raine’s words in this context (‘Go back, my child, to the rain and storm’, ‘I will not go back for sorrow or pain’), the poem can be seen to echo the conflicted and anguished thoughts of displaced New Orleanians. The original Advent sense of desired guidance takes on a specific, if unintentional, significance with regards to the tragic outcome of that hurricane; this is emphasized by the blues inflected harmonies found throughout Threshold of Night.

Tarik O’Regan
New York, August 2006

  • Ensemble
    Craig Hella Johnson
    Harmonia Mundi USA:
  • Ensemble
    Bath Camerata
    Benjamin Goodson
In "Threshold of Night," the men's call to "Go back, my babe," repeated insistently to a child seeking shelter, added poignance to the images of a storm-ravaged landscape....
Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle,05/10/2007
Toward the end of Threshold of Night, the rocking male music under "Go back, my babe" created a brilliant web of sound, expressing pain and hope.
Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle,01/10/2007
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