His Lighte Gooste

Solo Baritone, Cello, Piano (2010)

The work was composed for the final assignment of the NZSM Composition 201 paper, in 2010. It is for chamber trio of Baritone, Cello and Piano.

It explores the path of a trajectory. Leading from the opening Hexachord to its chromatic compliment (via one pitch at a time) – as shown below. While this enabled interesting pitch effects and harmonies it became fairly limiting at some points (and so the piece breaks the hexachord rule at a few points for dramatic effect).

Original Hexachord

Picture 1

Chromatic Compliment Hexachord

Picture 1-2

The piece also explores ‘Silence and Tension’. This is particularly seen in the opening page where the piano part combines the ambiguity of 9ths and 7ths with silence to create tension and a sense of freedom from metre.  


The text is an excerpt from Troilus & Criseyde, by Geoffrey Chaucer and is kept in Chaucerian English (below). 

His lighte goost ful blisfully is went

Up to the holughnesse of the eighthe spere,

In convers letying everich element;

And ther he saugh with ful avysement

The erratik sterres, herkenyng armonye

With sownes ful of heuenyssh melodie.


The following is a translation of the Chaucerian version.

His light spirit full blissfully is gone

Up to the wholeness of the eighth sphere,

In converse letting every element;

And there he saw with full contemplation

The erratic stars, listening among

With sounds full of celestial melody.