Lenguas de Fuego composed by Kevin Volans
Though Kevin Volans has said he chose the title for its rhythm, we might also want to note its meaning, as ‘tongues of fire’, with reference to the dramatic moment recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, when the twelve were gathered in the same room and suddenly had such emanations hovering on their heads. Strangeness, similarity and, indeed, hovering are written into the music, which proceeds in two broad arcs.
The first, hesitant, has spikes and repetitions, which it alternates and combines. Repeating patterns emerge to dance, but soon subside into the expectancy. The opening is revisited, but goes another way. Moments of rotating continuity and of quietly radiating stillness are later discovered, but any kind of definition is sooner or later drawn back into possibility.
Around the sixteen-minute mark, the music thins to a thread, until a gentle rocking from the cello sets it in motion again, now much more decisively. The spikes are still there, even the same spikes, and so are the points of radiant stillness, but contained within, and contributing to, an ongoing dance – one whose up-down figures might indeed be heard as tongues of fire. There is a spacier middle section, and then the dance picks up again to reach a higher temperature before winding down.
(Paul Griffiths, 2021)
Mia Cooper, Violin; Anna Cashel, Violin; Joachim Roewer, Viola; William Butt, Cello; Silvija Scerbaviciute, Flute; Brian Dungan, Percussion; Andrew Synnott, Conductor.Recorded in Windmill Lane Studios Dublin March 2021
Recording Engineer: Debbie Smith
Producer : Simon Kiln
Executive Producer: Eamonn Quinn
Funded by the Arts Council and Create Louth.