Happy Birthday Geoffrey Burgon!
Geoffrey wrote Goldberg’s Dreams for Bob Cohan’s London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1975. Geoffrey woke up from a dream where he heard Bach’s Goldberg Variations being played in the other room. He had been studying Jung and was experimenting with his art combining dreams with reality. It was after this dream that he began this work.
It has a playfulness about it and the humour is in the fact that Bach wrote Goldberg Variations for the Russian ambassador to the electoral court of Saxony, Count Kaiserling, who often stopped in Leipzig and brought there with him the aforementioned Goldberg, in order to have him given musical instruction by Bach. The Count was often ill and had sleepless nights. At such times, Goldberg, who lived in his house, had to spend the night in an antechamber, so as to play for him during his insomnia. …This is one of my favourite dance works by Geoffrey and we found it in the archive on an old cassette.
So here from the dream state of Mr. Burgon, please enjoy Goldberg’s Dream.
One of my favourite modern English composers, Geoffrey Burgon. Burgon composed The Assumption in 2001 it’s a deceptively simple piece of music in which each of the eminently singable four voice lines combine to produce a piece of music that greatly exceeds the sum of its parts. As well as being a lovely piece of music it shows Burgon’s abiding interest in and affinity with early English texts. Pre-reformation England was famous for its devotion to the Virgin Mary. This devotion was notable from the earliest times and long predated even Abbot Ælfric of Eynsham‘s sermons and the Blickling Homilies. The text ‘Come my swete, come my flower’ is early medieval and consists of a dialogue between Christ and his mother in which Christ calls her up to heaven and she responds with eagerness and love. It’s a charming setting of a charming text sung beautifully by the Wells Cathedral Choir conducted by Matthew Owens. Enjoy .
Geoffrey Burgon would have been 75 today. A new album is being produced of his works that will be part of many new releases in the future by this prolific and dynamic composer. Keep in touch to hear the news and music you have never heard before.
During the archiving of Geoffrey’s recordings and manuscripts, we have found hundreds of books that he studied for his music, especially books of poetry. Emily Dickinson was one of his favourite poets and he used her poems in many of his pieces. He often remarked how her work was mystical. We found this book of her poems that is earmarked in several locations, a book well used by Geoffrey. We will post a couple of these recordings for you to hear in the following weeks.
Another shot of Geoffrey by his friend Martyn Goddard. Geoffrey would savour a drive in his Bristol after a days work on his composition. It was one of his favourite ways to clear his mind and to come up with new ideas.
Geoffrey and Martyn Goddard would go on escapades with the Bristol of the moment. They both had a fantastic time together on these photo journalistic journeys. Martyn photographed Geoffrey for most of his career and most of the photographs we upload on this site are by Martyn.
Celebrating Geoffrey’s 74th Birthday, July 15th.
We are delighted to announce the release by La La Land Records of the Film Music, Dogs of War. This is one brilliant film directed by John Irvin, who became good friends with Geoffrey. Their collaborations had a magic that captured audiences around the world. Their work together, remains timeless and has a powerful, riveting sophistication, that is rarely achieved in cinema. John always chooses the best actors and composers. On Dogs of War you will be able to see a very young Christopher Walken with a youthful buoyant score by Geoffrey.
We wanted to let you know how honoured we are to have released Geoffrey’s magnificent score! It is a wonderful piece of work and we are so excited to have produced this CD.
La-La Land Records