Hawick Missal scores film composer Nyman

Composer Michael Nyman, who scored the soundtrack to the film The Piano, will write the second of three songs inspired by the Hawick Missal.

The announcement, in Jedburgh’s Old & Trinity Parish Church last Saturday evening, followed the premiere of the first new song inspired by the medieval fragment of sacred chant, rediscovered in Hawick Heritage Hub’s archives in 2009 after being lost for 450 years.

The new piece of music, called ‘Et Clamabant’, was written by Irish composer Sean Doherty, the winner of a ‘Hawick Fragments Project’ competition.

Mr Doherty, a native of Derry in Northern Ireland, said he was “overwhelmed” to hear his “21st century take” on the choral melody sung in the Jedburgh kirk, and then within the town’s historic 12th century abbey.

“The piece of plainsong that I chose from the Hawick Missal fragment, ‘Et Clamabant’ (it means ‘And they cried out’), was a joy to work with,” he said. “I immediately saw it on the first page, and I thought I can make a piece from that. The atmosphere here is so wonderful.”

The second new composition by Michael Nyman, who is renowned for his minimalist music, will be premiered on Saturday, September 14, at 7pm in Kelso’s Old Parish Church, followed by a performance in the ruins of Kelso Abbey.