The Relationship between Literature, Art & Music

Location: St Mary's Church, Luton LU1 3JF



The Relationship between Literature, Art & Music with Dr Elizabeth Haines

This event has been curated to explore our season’s theme of The Relationship between Literature, Art & Music. In the afternoon prior to the concert there will be a workshop led by Dr. Elizabeth Haines, encouraging participants to explore practically the connection between music and painting or drawing. Her own practice is closely associated with a pluralist aesthetic and she is the author of a PhD, The Web of Exchange.

At 7.30 pm there will then be a more formal interview with Dr. Haines and composer Edward Picton-Turbervill, discussing the artistic processes involved in synergising the power of one art form with another. The second part of the evening will be a forty minute recital of organ music that has inspired Dr. Haines’s workshops. This will be presented alongside song repertoire from Edward and mezzo-soprano Lyla Levy-Jordan , including his magnificent setting of Selima Hill’s poem The Cow.

Further details of the workshop will be posted here in due course. There will an opportunity for about 12 participants to enjoy this fascinating experience.

  • Richard Sisson (Chair of Luton Music)

Programme to include:
Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565
Johann Sebastian Bach – 2 part inventions
Olivier Messiaen – L’Ascension: IV. Prière du Christ montant vers Son Père

Edward Picton-Turbervill & Selima Hill – I Want To Be A Cow
Richard Sisson & Gillian Clarke – Six Bells

Lyla Levy-Jordan
Edward Picton-Turbervill

Lyla Levy-Jordan (mezzo-soprano)
Edward Picton-Turbervill (piano)


Drawing by Elizabeth Haines

I found a metaphor for Bach in the idea of an 18th-century landscape garden, where the features are arranged and ordered in such a way that one is led around them in a particular sequence. Even if this sequence is not as tightly structured as in a piece of classical music, the analogy stands. It is interesting that these elegant gardens, such as the one at Stourhead, with their lines directed to focal points, are contemporary with the music of Bach.

In this drawing, starting from the safety of a C major arbour, the music climbs to the dominant key of G. This is seen as a Folly on the horizon, a point to which you strive to reach, negotiating the F sharp tritone, but, having reached it, realize it is only a new point of departure. Through a pleached alley of closely answered phrases, you pass a Conceit (a bridge which does not lead anywhere) which suggests the key of D minor; from there you arrive at the pavilion of A minor, the relative minor key of C major. Immediately, Bach leads you to another D minor Conceit, but the overall progression is under the F major arch (subdominant key of C), and then back home to the C major arbour.

Dr Elizabeth Haines

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