Nick Cave and Belgian Composer Nicholas Lens Collaborate on New Minimalist Opera: L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S

L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S, a new opera featuring the lyrics of Australian polymath Nick Cave and Belgian composer Nicholas Lens
Nicholas Lens & Nick Cave - Litany of the Forsaken (Official Music Video)
Belgian composer Nicholas Lens & Australian singer and songwriter Nick Cave present their lockdown album L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S
The Bad Seeds frontman Nick Cave has written 12 “litanies” for a new vocal work by Belgian composer Nicholas Lens
Lens describes L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S as “a pure form of poetry… a lyrical form of minimalism which might lead to a trance-like state”
All the musicians had to record their parts separately in Lens’s home, and his artist daughter played keyboards, helped produce and even sang vocals on the recording – purely because she happened to be stuck in Brussels due to the travel ban
With L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S Lens continues one of his novel approaches to composition by collaborating with dynamic, fêted writers from way outside the classical world. His former work includes the operas Slow Man (2012), with Nobel and Booker Prize winner J.M. Coetzee, and Shell Shock (2014), also with Nick Cave
There are several things that Belgian composer Nicholas Lens and Australian singer and songwriter Nick Cave have in common, but chief among them is that neither likes to waste time. Very early into the COVID-19 pandemic, both realised that their respective schedules for 2020 were likely to be heavily disrupted. Lens was dismayed to see performances of his operas cancelled right through to the following year, likewise Cave saw an extensive tour of North America and Europe for his band The Bad Seeds put on ice until 2021.
Lens cautions listeners who know him for his operatic output to
expect something different here:
“I would hate to irritate the opera purists! Maybe think of it more as a work of sleeping dreams, a trance trip that doesn’t want to stop for an hour, a weird ride that takes the listener through strange turns…”
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