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979-0-57036-214-1 Sun, New Moon and Women Shouting – Score Available at MusicRoom Buy now (£11.95)


A dramatic setting for vocal ensemble of a text by Tom Lowenstein evoking an ancient ritual in North Alaska

Programme Note

In the North Alaskan wilderness for over fifteen hundred years, the people of Tikigaq evolved an intricate system of rites to accompany their hunting. The poet Tom Lowenstein captured the astonishingly rich detail of ancient life in his book ‘Ancient Life, Sacred Whale’ (Bloomsbury, 1993). Sun, New Moon and Women Shouting is a setting for six solo voices of a poetic sequence from that book concerning the cataclysmic moment after the winter solstice when the people greet the first sunrise of the year. In this ritual the men are joined by the women on the roofs of their iglus and compete to ‘catch’ the sun. The music reflects the narrative structure of the verse, the arrival of the women with their children, and the recounting of myths by the storytellers.

Commissioned by Bromsgrove Concerts for I Fagiolini with funds from West Midlands Arts. First performance on 24 January 1996. I Fagiolini directed by Robert Hollingworth.

Further performances have included Tromsø Cathedral (Norway), 8 December 2019 at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, 25 April 2020 at Kings Place in London.

Recorded by I Fagiolini for BBC Radio 3. Also performed by BBC Singers for BBC Radio 3 conducted by Robert Hollingworth on 15 Dec 2010 at St George’s, Campden Hill, London.


10 minutes
Tom Lowenstein

I Fagiolini, dir. Robert Hollingworth, Bromsgrove Concerts, 24th January 1996

2 Soprano, 1 Alto, 1 Tenor, 1 Baritone, 1 Bass
Composition date


14 August 2021 Voces8 Live from London, online

I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth

7 August 2021 Purbeck Art Weeks Festival, Lady St Mary, Wareham

I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth

9 June 2021 York Concerts online

I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth

2 June 2021 St Lawrence Church, York

I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth

York Concerts, St Lawrence Church, York

8 December 2019

Pushkin Museum, Moscow

I Fagiolini

15 December 2010

St George's, Campden Hill, London

Performed by the BBC Singers, cond. Robert Hollingworth, for BBC Radio 3