Explore the music in Breath of Song

Breath of Song brings together 10 exquisite new pieces by contemporary women composers, each introducing exciting new sounds, colours and styles to the repertoire. Immerse yourself in the music from the collection below with brand new recordings, as well as blogs and videos from the composers themselves.

Explore the titles

Love Letter

Sarah Dacey

Setting words from part of a letter by Edna St. Vincent Millay to her lover Arthur Davison Ficke, this is a gentle, charming piece that celebrates our freedom to love. Dacey's rich harmonies and quirky melodies are presented in a rocking 5/8 time signature and conclude softly with the central message as the phrase 'you and me' fragments and fades into the distance.

O ye who taste that Love is sweet

Eleanor Daley

This is a warm and tender piece setting the last three verses of Christina Rossetti's 'What good shall my life do me?', which encourages leading a life of love as an example for others. Daley's heartfelt melodies are set to hymn-like textures and flow freely in ever-changing time signatures.


Reena Esmail

TāReKiṬa is a refreshing concert piece that effortlessly blends the Hindustani (North Indian) and Western classical styles. The composer's scats are combined with a fast triple metre, vocal slides, and captivating melodies built on the Jog raga. Also available in a version for SSAA.

The Arrow and the Song

Laura Hawley

Scored for alto solo and SATB, this imaginative setting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem encourages the use of evocative bird and wind noises to capture the text's natural imagery. In a fresh, a cappella style, Hawley's charismatic melodies soar through the vibrant texture, and offer plenty of opportunities for soloists. Also available in a version for SSAA.

God be with us

Cecilia McDowall

This uplifting anthem sets the Invocation text from Carmina Gadelica. McDowall's beautiful melodies flow and intertwine, decorated by scotch snaps that reflect the text's origin.

My beloved spake

Becky McGlade

This is a beautiful and dynamic setting of well-known words from the Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon). With a soaring soprano melody, McGlade's fluid vocal lines drive harmonic twists within an immediately accessible sound-world.

Snow is Silent

Jenny Mahler

Scored for SATB, body percussion and congas, this is an energetic piece setting a text full of natural imagery. Mahler's catchy melodies are combined with speech, body percussion, and congas to imitate the contrasting characteristics of rain. Dramatic and expressive - this is the perfect performance piece to get stuck into!

The Birds' Lullaby

Sarah Quartel

This a cappella setting of evocative words by E. Pauline Johnson is immediately appealing, with its playful, swinging syncopations and dancing scat accompaniment. Also available in a version for SSAA

Round me falls the night

Annabel Rooney

William Romanis's hymn text is brought to life in this enchanting anthem with unexpected harmonic shifts and fluctuating time signatures. Rooney glides gracefully between tonal centres, creating a beautiful, ethereal atmosphere.

Wake, Love, Wake!

Joan Szymko

Setting a beautiful text by Rabindranath Tagore, Wake, love, Wake! explores evocative imagery and metaphors through sonorous harmonies and freedom in tempo. The resulting piece is romantic, stirring, and atmospheric - perfect for concert performance.

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