Kerensa Briggs’ Light in darkness
shares some harmonic similarities with Debussy’s Andantino, utilising individual notes as pivots that take the harmony in a new direction. Kerensa’s father is the English organist David Briggs, which perhaps helps explain Kerensa’s natural affinity for writing choral and organ works. Having grown up spending a lot of time in cathedrals, she has spoken in the past of the crucial role of the building in any music for choir or organ. We hear the dialogue between music and building in numerous ways in Light in darkness
, but perhaps most notably in the notated rests which allow the music to settle into the space between phrases. This piece was a joint commission for Choir & Organ
magazine’s New Music series and St Andrew’s University Organ Week, 2019. It is a reflection upon the mystery and power of light within darkness, as explored in John 1: 4-5: ‘The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it’.
from notes by Anna Lapwood © 2021