The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.
The instability of the world that turns its back on God is symbolized in the semitone clash (C–D flat) played, barely audibly, on the organ pedals in the work’s first bar. This dyad underlies the entire piece, sometimes resolving onto a simple C, but always returning. And even when the dissonance does resolve, it is masked (to use another Yeatsian word) by harmony from another key on the manuals – one can say symbolically that different keys represent different metaphysical states. The choir reflects and augments this instability, singing a lullaby whose dissolving harmonic logic is periodically interrupted by unison intimations of the darkness to come.
from notes by Ivan Moody © 2004