I have heard it said that a spirit enters (2002)

for low female voice and chamber orchestra
text by Marilyn Bowering


Marilyn Bowerng, photo by Michael Elcock

This song, to a text from Marilyn Bowering’s novel “To all appearances a lady” was written for Holly Cole, and is dedicated to her, and was designed specially for the concert at the Vancouver Jazz Festival and for subsequent recording by CBC Records. It is designed to be the first of a group of three songs, of which the other two are Planet Earth and The Apple. There is a progressive reduction in orchestration with the three songs, especially in the strings. In I have heard it said... there is a full string section; whereas in Planet Earth the violins are removed, and in The Apple we are left with only 6 solo celli and 4 solo basses, and no wind instruments at all. This attention to orchestration comes from a careful observation of the special qualities of Holly Cole’s voice and of the appropriate vehicle for its accompaniment, especially after our having worked together in Winnipeg in 1999. In this song, one of the basses is a jazz bass, and Marilyn Bowering’s evocative text gives the possibility of a brief allusion to the song “I’ll be with you in apple blossom time” - linking it to the more abstract third song, The Apple.