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979-0-57036-493-0 The World in tune – Performing score Available at MusicRoom Buy now (£5.95)


Commissioned by Irene Kurka.

Asked for a piece on the subject of Prayer, I thought of Henry Vaughan’s definition, from The Morning-watch (from Silex Scintillans, 1650) :

Prayer is
The World in tune,
A spirit-voyce,
And vocall joys
Whose Eccho is heav’ns blisse.

The idea of ‘tuning oneself in’ also occurs in the lines from Pessoa that are incorporated into the piece:

May this always be my life:
The day bright with sunshine or mild with rain,
Or stormy as if the world would drown…

To feel life flowing through me like a river over its bed,
And outside a great silence, like a sleeping god.

The piece exclusively uses intervals formed between some of the first eleven partials of the harmonic series, and so performs its own kind of tuning-in.


7 minutes

Irene Kurka, Klangraum, Düsseldorf, 27th August 2013

1 Soprano
Composition date


beten . prayer (EWR 1504) Irene Kurka (soprano) 22nd November 2015


10 October 2016

Onomato, Düsseldorf

Irene Kurka (soprano)

24 January 2016

Matthäuskirche, Berlin

Irene Kurka (soprano)